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THE LAST 
CHRONICLE OF BARSET 



IRRorto ot JSntfionp l^roUope 



die Cfinmidei? of |Karfl;etiBE|itte. Comprising: 

THE WARDEN, 1 Vol. 

BARCHESTER TOWERS, 8 Vok. 

DR. THORN E, 2 VoJ». 

FRAMLEY PARSONAGE, 2 Vols. 

THE SMALL HOUSE AT ALLINGTON, 8 Vol». 

LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET, 3 Vols. 

tCde ^rlimttmtai? ^ObeU. Comprising: 

THE EUSTACE DIAMONDS, 2VoI». 
CAN YOU FORGIVE HER, 8 Vob. 
PHINEAS FINN, 8 Vols. 
PHINEAS REDUX 8 Vote. 
THE PRIME MINISTER, 8 Vols. 
THE DUKE'S CHILDREN, 8 Vol*. 

Wfft ilbnor I^Ke .^ObrU. Comprising: 

ORLEY FARM, 8 Vols. 

THE VICAR OF BULLHAMPTON, t Vols. 

IS HE POPKNJOY, 2 Vols. 

JOHN CALDIGATE, 2 Vols. 



tCfie Slttto&tograii^ of Sititfionp tCroIbqir. 

IVol. 



• J - 



It 



* « 



THE LAST 
CHRONICLE OF BARSET 



BY 

ANTHONY TROLLOPE 



VOL.1 



NEW-YORK 

DODD, MEAD & COMPANY 

1909 



CONTENTS. 



I. How Did He Get It? i 

II. "By Heavens, He had Better Not!" i8 

III. The Archdeacon's Threat. 31 

IV. The Clergyman's House at Hogglestock.. 39 
V. What the World Thought about It 51 

VI. Grace Crawley 60 

VII. Miss Prettyman's Private Room 76 

VIII. Mr. Crawley is Taken to Silverbridge. ... 92 

IX. Grace Crawley Goes to Alungton 113 

X. Dinner at Framley Court 128 

XI. The Bishop Sends His Inhibition 138 

XII. Mr. Crawley Seeks for Sympathy 151 

XIII. The Bishop's Angel 165 

XIV. Major Grantly Consults a Friend 180 

XV. Up in London 190 

XVI. Down at Allington 208 

XVII. Mr. Crawley is Summoned to Barchester. 227 
XVIII. The Bishop of Barchester is Crushed .... 242 

XIX. "Where Did It Come From?" 257 

XX. What Mr. Walker Thought about It 265 

XXI. Mr. Robarts on His Embassy 276 

XXII. Major Grantly at Home 289 



206689 



vi CONTENTS. 

CHAPTBR FACB 

XXIII. Miss Lily Dale's Resolution 304 

XXIV. Mrs. Dobbs Broughton's Dinner-Party. . . 322 
XXV. Miss Madauna Demolines 344 

XXVI. The Picture. 358 

XXVII. A Hero at Home. 370 

XXVIII. Showing how Major Grantly took a 

Walk 383 

XXIX. Miss Lily Dale's Logic. 39S 



THE LAST CHRONICLE 
OF BARSET. 



CHAPTER I. 

HOW DID HE GET IT? 



" I CAN never bring myself to believe it, John," said 
Mary Walker, the pretty daughter of Mr. George 
Walker, attorney of Silverbridge. Walker and Win- 
throp was the name of the firm, and they were respect- 
able people, who did all the solicitors' business that 
had to be done in that part of Barsetshire on behalf of 
the Crown, were employed on the local business of the 
Duke of Omnium, who is great in those parts, and al- 
together held their heads up high, as provincial lawyers 
often do. They, — the Walkers, — ^lived in a great brick 
house in the middle of the town, gave dinners, to which 
the county gentlemen not unfrequently condescended 
to come, and in a mild way led the fashion in Silver- 
bridge. " I can never bring myself to believe it, 
John," said Miss Walker. 

" You '11 have to bring yourself to believe it," said 
John, without taking his eyes from his book. 
A clergyman, — and such a clergyman too!" 



VOL. I. — 1 



3 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" I don't see that that has anything to do with it." 
And as he now spoke John did take his eyes off his 
book. "Why should not a clergyman turn thief as 
well as anybody else? You girls always seem to for- 
get that clergymen are only men after all." 

" Their conduct is likely to be better than that of 
other men, I think." 

" I deny it utterly," said John Walker. " 1 11 under- 
take to say that at this moment there are more clergy- 
men in debt in Barsetshire than there are either lawyers 
or doctors. This man has always been in debt. Since 
he has been in the county I don't think he has ever 
been able to show his face in the High Street of 
Silverbridge." 

" John, that is saying more than you have a right to 
say," said Mrs. Walker. 

"Why, mother, this very cheque was given to a 
butcher who had threatened a few days before to post 
bills all about the county, giving an account of the 
debt that was due to him, if the money was not paid 
at once." 

" More shame for Mr. Fletcher," said Mary. " He 
has made a fortune as butcher in Silverbridge." 

"What has that to do with it? Of course a man 
likes to have his money. He had written three times 
to the bishop, and he had sent a man over to Hoggle- 
stock to get his little bill settled six days running. You 
see he got it at last. Of course a tradesman must look 
for his money." 

" Mamma, do you think that Mr. Crawley stole the 
cheque? " Mary, a§..she asked the question, came and 
stood over her mother, looking at her with anxious 
eyes. 



4- 
T 



HOW DID HE GET IT? 3 

" I would rather give no opinion, my dear." 

" But you must think something, when everybody is 
talking about it, mamma." 

" Of course my mother thinks he did," said John, 
going back to his book. ** It is impossible that she 
should think otherwise." 

" That is not fair, John," said Mrs. Walker ; " and 
I won't have you fabricate thoughts for me, or put the 
expression of them into my mouth. The whole affair 
is very painful, and as your father is engaged in the 
inquiry I think that the less said about the matter in 
this house the better. I am su^e that that would be 
your father's feeling." 

" Of course I should say nothing about it before 
him," said Mary. ** I know that papa does not wish 
to have it talked about. But how is one to help think- 
ing about such a thing? It would be so terrible for 
all of us who belong to the church." 

"I do not see that at all," said John. "Mr. Crawley 
is not more than any other man just because he 's a 
clergyman. I hate all that kind of clap-trap. There 
are a lot of people here in Silverbridge who think the 
matter should n't be followed up because the man is in 
a position which makes the crime more criminal in him 
than it would be in another." 

" But I feel sure that Mr. Crawley has committed 
no crime at all," said Mary. 

" My dear," said Mrs. Walker, " I have just said 
that I would rather you would not talk about it. Papa 
will be in directly." 

" I won't, mamma ; — only " 

"Only! yes; just only!" said John. "She'd go 
on till dinner if any one would stay to hear her." 



4 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" You Ve said twice as much as I have, John." But 
John had left the room before his sister's last words 
could reach him. 

" You know, mamma, it is quite impossible not to 
help thinking of it," said Mary. 

" 1 dare say it is, my dear." 

" And when one knows the people it does make it 
so dreadful." 

"But do you know them? I never spoke to Mr. 
Crawley in my life, and I do not think I ever saw 
her." 

" I knew Grace very well ; — when she used to come 
first to Miss Prettyman*s school." 

"Poor girl! I pity her." 

"Pity her! Pity is no word for it, mamma. My 
heart bleeds for them. And yet I do not believe for 
a moment that he stole the cheque. How can it be 
possible? For though he may have been in debt be- 
cause they have been so very, very poor ; yet we all 
know that he has been an excellent clergyman. When 
the Robartses were dining here last I heard Mrs. 
Robarts say that for piety and devotion to his duties 
she had hardly ever seen any one equal to him. And 
the Robartses know more of them than anybody." 

"They say that the dean is his great friend." 

" What a pity it is that the Arabins should be away 
just now when he is in such trouble." And in this 
way the mother and daughter went on discussing the 
question of the clergyman's guilt in spite of Mrs. 
Walker's previously expressed desire that nothing more 
might be said about it. But Mrs. Walker, like many 
other mothers, was apt to be more free in conv-erse 
with her daughter than she was with her son. While 



HOW DID HE GET IT? 5 

they were thus talking the father came in from his 
office, and then the subject was dropped. He was a 
man between fifty and sixty years of age, with grey 
hair, rather short, and somewhat corpulent, but still 
gifted with that amount of personal comeliness which 
comfortable position and the respect of others will 
generally seem to give. A man rarely carries himself 
meanly whom the world holds high in esteem. 

" I am very tired, my dear," said Mr. Walker. 

"You look tired. Come and sit down for a few 
minutes before you dress. Mary, get your father's 
slippers." Mary instantly ran to the door. 

" Thanks, my darling," said the father. And then 
he whispered to his wife, as soon as Mary was out ot 
hearing, "I fear that unfortunate man is guilty. I 
fear he is! I fear he is! " 

" Oh, heavens! what will become of them? " 
What indeed! She has been with me to-day." 
Has she? And what could you say to her? " 

" I told her at first that I could not see her, and 
begged her not to speak to me about it. I tried to 
make her understand that she should go to some one 
else. But it was of no use." 

"And how did it end?" 

"I asked her to go in to you, but she declined. 
She said you could do nothing for her." 

"And does she think her husband guilty? " 

"No, indeed. She think him guilty! Nothing on 
earth,— or from heaven either, as I take it, would make 
her suppose it to be possible. She came to me simply 
to tell me how good he was." 

" I love her for that," said Mrs. Walker. 

"So did I. But what is the good of loving her? 



it 



6 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Thank you, dearest. I '11 get your slippers for you 
some day, perhaps." 

The whole county was astir in this matter of the 
alleged guilt of the Reverend Josiah Crawley, — the 
whole county, almost as keenly as the family of Mr. 
Walker, of Silverbridge. The crime laid to his charge 
was the theft of a cheque for twenty pounds, which he 
was said to have stolen out of a pocket-book left or 
dropped in his house, and to have passed as money 
into the hands of one Fletcher, a butcher of Silver- 
bridge, to whom he was indebted. Mr. Crawley was 
in those days the perpetual curate of Hogglestock, a 
parish in the northern extremity of East Barsetshire ; a 
man known by all who knew anything of him to be 
very poor, — an unhappy, moody, disappointed man, 
upon whom the troubles of the world always seemed 
to come with a double weight. But he had ever been 
respected as a clergyman, since his old friend Mr. 
Arabin, the dean of Barchester, had given him the 
small incumbency which he now held. Though 
moody, unhappy, and disappointed, he was a hard- 
working, conscientious pastor among the poor people 
with whom his lot was cast ; for in the parish of Hog- 
glestock there resided only a few farmers higher in 
degree than field laborers, brickmakers, and such-like. 
Mr. Crawley had now passed some ten years of his 
life at Hogglestock ; and during those years he had 
worked very hard to do his duty, struggling to teach 
the people around him perhaps too much of the mys- 
tery, but something also of the comfort, of religion. 
That he had become popular in his parish cannot be 
said of him. He was not a man to make himself 
popular in any position. I have said that he was 



HOW DID HE GET IT? J 

moody and disappointed. He was even worse than 
this; he was morose, sometimes almost to insanity. 
There had been days in which even his wife had found 
it impossible to deal with him otherwise than as with an 
acknowledged lunatic. And this was known among the 
farmers, who talked about their clergyman among them- 
selves as though he were a madman. But among the 
very poor, among the brickmakers of Hoggle End, — 
a lawless, drunken, terribly rough lot of humanity, — he 
was held in high respect ; for they knew that he lived 
hardly, as they lived ; that he worked hard, as they 
worked ; and that the outside world was hard to him, 
as it was to them ; and there had been an apparent 
sincerity of godliness about the man, and a manifest 
struggle to do his duty in spite of the world's ill-usage, 
which had won its way even with the rough ; so that 
Mr. Crawley's name had stood high with many in his 
parish, in spite of the unfortunate peculiarity of his 
disposition. This was the man who was now accused 
of stealing a cheque for twenty pounds. 

But before the circumstances of the alleged theft are 
stated a word or two must be said as to Mr. Crawley's 
family. It is declared that a good wife is a crown to 
her husband, but Mrs. Crawley had been much more 
than a crown to him. As had regarded all the inner 
Kfe of the man, — all that portion of his life which had 
not been passed in the pulpit or in pastoral teaching, 
— she had been crown, throne, and sceptre all in one. 
That she had endured with him and on his behalf the 
miseries of poverty, and the troubles of a life which 
had known no smiles, is perhaps not to be alleged as 
much to her honour. She had joined herself to him for 
better or worse, and it was her manifest duty to bear 



S THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

such things. Wives always have to bear them, know- 
ing when they marry that they must take their chance. 
Mr. Crawley might have been a bishop, and Mrs. 
Crawley, when she married him, perhaps thought it 
probable that such would be his fortune. Instead of 
that, he was now, just as he was approaching his fif- 
tieth year, a perpetual curate, with an income of one 
hundred and thirty pounds per annum, — ^and a family. 
That had been Mrs. Crawley's luck in life, and of 
course she bore it. But she had also done much more 
than this. She had striven hard to be contented, or, 
rather, to appear to be contented, when he had been 
most wretched and most moody. She had struggled 
to conceal from him her own conviction as to his half- 
insanity, treating him at the same time with the respect 
due to an honoured father of a family, and with the 
careful measured indulgence fit for a sick and wayward 
child. In all the terrible troubles of their life her 
courage had been higher than his. The metal of which 
she was made had been tempered to a steel which was 
very rare and fine, but the rareness and fineness of 
which he had failed, if^to appreciate, at any rate to 
imitate. He had often told her that she was without 
pride, because she had stooped to receive from others, 
on his behalf and on behalf of her children, things 
which were very needful, but which she could not buy. 
He had told her that she was a beggar, and that it was 
better to starve than to beg. She had borne the re- 
buke without a word in reply, and had then begged 
again for him and had endured the starvation herself. 
Nothing in their poverty had, for years past, been a 
shame to her ; but every accident of their poverty was 
still, and ever had been, a living disgrace to him. 



HOW DID HE GET IT? 9 

They had had many children, and three were still 
alive. Of the eldest, Grace Crawley, we shall hear 
much in the coming story. She was at this time nine- 
teen years old, and there were those who said that, in 
spite of her poverty, her shabby outward apparel, and 
a certain thin, unfledged, unrounded form of person, a 
want of fulness in the lines of her figure, she was the 
prettiest girl in that part of the world. She was living 
now at a school in Silverbridge, where for the last year 
she had been a teacher ; and there were many in Sil- 
verbridge who declared that very bright prospects were 
opening to her, — that young Major Grantly of Cosby 
Lodge, who, though a widower with a young child, 
was the cynosure of all female eyes in and round Sil- 
verbridge, had found beauty in her thin face, and that 
Grace Crawley's fortune was made in the teeth, as it 
were, of the prevailing ill-fortune of her family. Bob 
Crawley, who was two years younger, was now at 
Marlbro' School, from whence it was intended that he 
should proceed to Cambridge and be educated there 
at the expense of his godfather, Dean Arabin. In this 
also the world saw a stroke of good luck. But then 
nothing was lucky to Mr. Crawley. Bob, indeed, who 
had done very well at school, might do well at Cam- 
bridge, — ^might do great things there. But Mr. Craw- 
ley would almost have preferred that the boy should 
work in the fields, than that he should be educated in 
a manner so manifestly eleemosynary. And then his 
clothes! How was he to be provided with clothes fit 
either for school or for college ? But the dean and 
Mrs. Crawley between them managed this, leaving Mr. 
Crawley very much in the dark, as Mrs. Crawley was 
in the habit of leaving him. Then there was a younger 



lO THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

daughter, Jane, still at home, who passed her life be- 
tween her mother's work-table and her father's Greek, 
mending linen and learning to scan iambics, — for Mr. 
Crawley in his early days had been a ripe scholar. 

And now there had come upon them all this terribly 
crushing disaster. That poor Mr. Crawley had grad- 
ually got himself into a mess of debt at Silverbridge, 
from which he was quite unable to extricate himself, 
was generally known by all the world both of Silver- 
bridge and Hogglestock. To a great many it was 
known that Dean Arabin had paid money for him, 
very much contrary to his own consent, and that he 
had quarrelled, or attempted to quarrel, with the dean 
in consequence, — ^had so attempted, although the 
money had in part passed through his own hands. 
There had been one creditor, Fletcher, the butcher of 
Silverbridge, who had of late been specially hard upon 
poor Crawley. This man, who had not been without 
good-nature in his dealings, had heard stories of the 
dean's good-will and such-like, and had loudly ex- 
pressed his opinion that the perpetual curate of Hog- 
glestock would show a higher pride in allowing him- 
self to be indebted to a rich brother clergyman, than 
in remaining under thrall to a butcher. And thus a 
rumour had grown up. And then the butcher had 
written repeated letters to the bishop, — to Bishop 
Proudie of Barchester, — ^who had at first caused his 
chaplain to answer them, and had told Mr. Crawley 
somewhat roundly what was his opinion of a clergy- 
man who eat meat and did not pay for it. But noth- 
ing that the bishop could say or do enabled Mr. Craw- 
ley to pay the butcher. It was very grievous to such 
a man as Mr. Crawley to receive these letters from 



HOW DID HE GET IT? II 

such a man as Bishop Proudie. The letters came, and 
made festering wounds, but then there was an end of 
them. And at last there had come forth from the 
butcher's shop a threat that if the money were not paid 
by a certain date, printed bills should be posted about 
the county. All who heard of this in Silverbridge were 
very angry with Mr. Fletcher, for no one there had 
ever known a tradesman to take such a step before ; 
but Fletcher swore that he would persevere, and de- 
fended himself by showing that six or seven months 
since, in the spring of the year, Mr. Crawley had been 
paying money in Silverbridge, but had paid none to 
him, — to him who had been not only his earliest but 
his most enduring creditor. " He got money from the 
dean in March," said Mr. Fletcher to Mr. Walker, 
" and he paid twelve pounds ten to Green, and seven- 
teen pounds to Grobury, the baker." It was that 
seventeen pounds to Grobury, the baker, for flour, 
which made the butcher so fixedly determined to smite 
the poor clergyman hip and thigh. "And he paid 
money to Hall, and to Mrs. Holt, and to a deal more ; 
but he never came near my shop. If he had even 
shown himself I would not have said so much about 
it." And then a day before the date named, Mrs. 
Crawley had come to Silverbridge, and had paid the 
butcher twenty pounds in four five-pound notes. So 
far Fletcher the butcher had been successful. 

Some six weeks after this, inquiry began to be made 
as to a certain cheque for twenty pounds drawn by 
Lord Lufton on his bankers in London, which cheque 
had been lost early in the spring by Mr. Soames, Lord 
Lufton's man of business in Barsetshire, together with 
a pocket-book in which it had been folded. This 



12 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

pocket-book Soames had believed himself to have left 
at Mr. Crawley^s house, and had gone so far, even at 
the time of the loss, as to express his absolute convic- 
tion that he had so left it. He was in the habit of 
paying a rent-charge to Mr. Crawley on behalf of Lord 
Lufton, amounting to twenty pounds four shillings, 
every half-year. Lord Lufton held the large tithes of 
Hogglestock, and paid annually a sum of forty pounds 
eight shillings to the incumbent. This amount was, 
as a rule, remitted punctually by Mr. Soames through 
the post. On the occasion now spoken of he had had 
some reason for visiting Hogglestock and had paid the 
money personally to Mr. Crawley. Of so much there 
was no doubt. But he had paid it by a cheque drawn 
by himself on his own bankers at Barchester, and that 
cheque had been cashed in the ordinary way on the 
next morning. On returning to his own house in Bar- 
chester he had missed his pocket-book, and had written 
to Mr. Crawley to make inquiry. There had been no 
money in it, beyond the cheque drawn by Lord Lufton 
for twenty pounds. Mr. Crawley had answered this 
letter by another, saying that no pocket-book had been 
found in his house. All this had happened in March. 
In October, Mrs. Crawley paid the twenty pounds 
to Fletcher, the butcher, and in November Lord Luf- 
ton's cheque was traced back through the Barchester 
bank to Mr. Crawley's hands. A brickmaker of 
Hoggle End, much favoured by Mr. Crawley, had 
asked for change over the counter of this Barchester 
bank, — ^not, as will be understood, the bank on which 
the cheque was drawn, — and had received it. The 
accommodation had been refused to the man at first, 
but when he presented the cheque the second day. 



HOW DID HE GET IT? I3 

bearing Mr. Crawley's name on the back of it, together 
with a note from Mr. Crawley himself, the money had 
been given for it; and the identical notes so paid 
had been given to Fletcher, the butcher, on the next 
day by Mrs. Crawley. When inquiry was made, Mr. 
Crawley stated that the cheque had been paid to him 
by Mr. Soames, on behalf of the rent-charge due to him 
by Lord Lufton. But the error of this statement was 
at once made manifest. There was the cheque, signed 
by Mr. Soames himself, for the exact amount, — twenty 
pounds four shillings. As he himself declared, he had 
never in his life paid money on behalf of Lord Lufton 
by a cheque drawn by his lordship. The cheque given 
by Lord Lufton, and which had been lost, had been a 
private matter between them. His lordship had simply 
wanted change in his pocket, and his agent had given 
it to him. Mr. Crawley was speedily shown to be al- 
together wrong in the statement made to account for 
possession of the cheque. 

Then he became very moody and would say nothing 
further. But his wife, who had known nothing of his 
first statement when made, came forward and declared 
that she believed the cheque for twenty pounds to be 
a part of a present given by Dean Arabin to her hus- 
band in April last. There had been, she said, great 
heartburnings about this gift, and she had hardly dared 
to speak to her husband on the subject. An execu- 
tion had been threatened in the house by Grobury, the 
baker, of which the dean had heard. Then there had 
been some scenes at the deanery between her husband 
and the dean and Mrs. Arabin, as to which she had 
subsequently heard much from Mrs. Arabin. Mrs. 
Arabin had told her that money had been given, — ^and 



14 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

at last taken. Indeed, so much- had been very appar- 
ent, as bills had been paid to the amount of at least 
fifty pounds. When the threat made by the butcher 
had reached her husband's ears, the effect upon him 
had been very grievous. All this was the story told 
by Mrs. Crawley to Mr. Walker, the lawyer, when he 
was pushing his inquiries. She, poor woman, at any 
rate told all that she knew. Her husband had told 
her one morning, when the butcher's threat was weigh- 
ing heavily on his mind, speaking to her in such a 
humour that she found it impossible to cross-question 
him, that he had still money left, though it was money 
which he had hoped that he would not be driven to 
use ; and he had given her the four five- pound notes, 
and had told her to go to Silverbridge and satisfy the 
, man who was so eager for his money. She had done 
so, and had felt no doubt that the money so forthcom- 
ing had been given by the dean. That was the story 
as told by Mrs. Crawley. 

But how could she explain her husband's statement 
as to the cheque, which had been shown to be alto- 
gether false? All this passed between Mr. Walker and 
Mrs. Crawley, and the lawyer was very gentle with 
her. In the first stages of the inquiry he had simply 
desired to learn the truth, and place the clergyman 
above suspicion. Latterly, being bound as he was to 
follow the matter up officially, he would not have seen 
Mrs. Crawley, had be been able to escape that lady's 
importunity. "Mr. Walker," she had said, at last, 
" you do not know my husband. No one knows him 
but I. It is hard to have to tell you of all our 
troubles." " If I can lessen them, trust me that I will 
do so," said the lawyer. " No one, I think, can lessen 



HOW DID HE GET IT? I5 

them in this world," said the lady. "The truth is, 
sir, that my husband often knows not what he says. 
When he declared that the money had been paid to 
him by Mr. Soames, most certainly he thought so. 
There are times when in his misery he knows not what 
he says, — ^when he forgets everything." 

Up to this period Mr. Walker had not suspected 
Mr. Crawley of anything dishonest, nor did he suspect 
him as yet. The poor man had probably received the 
money from the dean, and had told the lie about it, 
not choosing to own that he had taken money from 
his rich friend, and thinking that there would be no 
further inquiry. He had been very foolish, and that 
would be the end of it. Mr. Soames was by no means 
so good-natured in his belief. "How should my 
pocket-book have got into Dean Arabin's hands? " said 
Mr. Soames^ almost triumphantly. "And then I felt 
sure at the time that I had left it at Crawley *s house! " 

Mr. Walker wrote a letter to the dean, who at that 
moment was in Florence, on his way to Rome, from 
whence he was going on to the Holy Land. There 
came back a letter from Dr. Arabin, saying that on the 
1 7th of March he had given to Mr. Crawley a sum of 
fifty pounds, and that the payment had been made with 
five Bank of England notes of ten pounds each, which 
had been handed by him to his friend in the library 
at the deanery. The letter was very short, and may, 
perhaps, be described as having been almost curt. 
Mr. Walker, in his anxiety to do the best he could for 
Mr. Crawley, had simply asked a question as to the 
nature of the transaction between the two gentlemen, 
saying that no doubt the dean's answer would clear up 
a little mystery which existed at present respecting a 



X6 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

cheque for twenty pounds. The dean in answer sim- 
ply stated the fact as it has been given above ; but he 
wrote to Mr. Crawley begging to know what was in 
truth this new difficulty, and offering any assistance in 
his power. He explained all the circumstances of the 
money, as he remembered them. The sum advanced 
had certainly consisted of fifty pounds, and there had 
certainly been five Bank of England notes. He had 
put the notes into an envelope, which he had not 
closed, but had addressed to Mr. Crawley, and had 
placed this envelope in his friend's hands. He went 
on to say that Mrs. Arabin would have written, but 
that she was in Paris with her son. Mrs. Arabin was 
to remain in Paris during his absence in the Holy 
Land, and meet him in Italy on his return. As she 
was so much nearer at hand, the dean expressed a hope 
that Mrs. Crawley would apply to her if there was any 
trouble. 

The letter to Mr. Walker was conclusive as to the 
dean's money. Mr. Crawley had not received Lord 
Lufton's cheque from the dean. Then whence bad he 
received it? The poor wife was left by the lawyer to 
obtain further information from her husband. Ah, 
who can tell how terrible were the scenes between that 
poor pair of wretches, as the wife endeavoured to learn 
the truth from her miserable, half -maddened husband! 
That her husband had been honest throughout, she had 
not any shadow of doubt. She did not doubt that to 
her at least he endeavoured to tell the truth, as far as 
his poor racked, imperfect memory would allow him to 
remember what was true and what was not true. The 
upshot of it all was that the husband declared that he 
still believed that the money had come to him from the 



HOW DID HE GET IT? IJ 

dean. He had kept it by him, not wishing to use it if 
he could help it. He had forgotten it, — so he said at 
times, — Shaving understood from Arabin that he was to 
have fifty pounds, and having received more. If it had 
not come to him from the dean, then it had been sent 
to him by the Prince of Evil for his utter undoing ; 
and there were times in which he seemed to think that 
such had been the manner in which the fatal cheque 
had reached him. In all that he said he was terribly 
confused, contradictory, unintelligible, — speaking al- 
most as a madman might speak, — ^ending always by 
declaring that the cruelty of the world had been too 
much for him, that the waters were meeting over his 
head, and pra3ring for God's mercy to remove him from 
the world. It need hardly be said that his poor wife 
in these days had a burden on her shoulders that was 
more than enough to crush any woman. 

She at last acknowledged to Mr. Walker that she 
could not account for the twenty pounds. She herself 
would write again to the dean about it, but she hardly 
hoped for any further assistance there. " The dean's 
answer is very plain," said Mr. Walker. "He says 
that he gave Mr. Crawley five ten-pound notes, and 
those five notes we have traced to Mr. Crawley's 
hands." Then Mrs. Crawley could say nothing fiu*ther 
beyond making protestations of her husband's in- 
nocence. 



VOL. I. — 2 



CHAPTER II. 



"by heavens, he had better not!* 



I MUST ask the reader to make the acquaintance of 
Major Grantly of Cosby Lodge, before he is intro- 
duced to the family of Mr. Crawley, at their parsonage 
in Hogglestock. It has been said that Major Grantly 
had thrown a favourable eye on Grace Crawley, — by 
which report occasion was given to all men and women 
in those parts to hint that the Crawleys, with all their 
piety and humility, were very cunning, and that one 
of the Grantlys was, — to say the least of it, — ^very soft, 
admitted as it was throughout the county of Barset- 
shire, that there was no family therein more widely 
awake to the affairs generally of this world and the 
next combined, than the family of which Archdeacon 
Grantly was the respected head and patriarch. Mrs. 
Walker, the most good-natured woman in Silverbridge, 
had acknowledged to her daughter that she could not 
understand it, — that she could not see anything at 
all in Grace Crawley. Mr. Walker had shrugged his 
shoulders and expressed a confident belief that Major 
Grantly had not a shilling of his own beyond his half- 
pay and his late wife's fortune, which was only six 
thousand pounds. Others, who were ill-natured, had 
declared that Grace Crawley was httle better than a 

i8 



tt 



BY HEAVENS, HE HAD BETTER NOT!" 1 9 



beggar, and that she could not possibly have acquired 
the manners of a gentlewoman. Fletcher the butcher 
had wondered whether the major would pay his future 
father-in-law's debts ; and Dr. Tempest, the old rector 
of Silverbridge, whose four daughters were all as yet 
unmarried, had turned up his old nose, and had hinted 
that half-pay majors did not get caught in marriage so 
easily as that. 

Such and such like had been the expressions of the 
opinion of men and women in Silverbridge. But the 
matter had been discussed further afield than at Silver- 
bridge, and had been allowed to intrude itself as a most 
unwelcome subject into the family conclave of the 
archdeacon's rectory. To those who have not as yet 
learned the fact from the public character and well- 
appreciated reputation of the man, let it be known that 
Archdeacon Grantly was at this time, as he had been 
for many years previously, Archdeacon of Barchester 
and Rector of Plumstead Episcopi. A rich and pros- 
perous man he had ever been, — though he also had 
had his sore troubles, as we all have, — ^his having arisen 
chiefly from want of that higher ecclesiastical promo- 
tion which his soul had coveted, and for which the 
whole tenour of his life had especially fitted him. 
Now, in his green old age, he had ceased to covet, but 
had not ceased to repine. He had ceased to covet 
aught for himself, but still coveted much for his chil- 
dren ; and for him such a marriage as this which was 
now suggested for his son was encompassed almost 
with the bitterness of death. " I think it would ki)! 
me," he had said to his wife ; " by heavens, I think it 
would be my death ! " 

A daughter of the archdeacon had made a splendid 



20 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSilT. 

matrimonial alliance, — so splendid that its history was 
at the time known to all the aristocracy of the county, 
and had^not been altogether forgotten by any of those 
who keep themselves well instructed in the details of 
the peerage. Griselda Grantly had married Lord Dum- 
bello, the eldest son of the Marquis of Hartletop, — 
than whom no English nobleman was more puissant, 
if broad acres, many castles, high title, and stars and 
ribbons are any signs of puissance, — and she was now, 
herself. Marchioness of Hartletop, with a little Lord 
Dumbello of her own. The daughter's visits to the 
parsonage of her father were of necessity rare, such 
necessity having come from her own altered sphere of 
life. A Marchioness of Hartletop has special duties 
which will hardly permit her to devote herself fre- 
quently to the humdrum society of a clerical father 
and mother. That it would be so, father and mother 
had understood when they sent the fortunate girl forth 
to a higher world. But, now and again, since her 
august marriage, she had laid her coroneted head upon 
one of the old rectory pillows for a night or so, and on 
such occasions all the Plumsteadians had been loud in 
praise of her condescension. Now it happened that 
when this second and more aggravated blast of the 
evil wind reached the rectory, — the renewed waft of 
the tidings as to Major Grantly's infatuation regarding 
Miss Grace Crawley, which, on its renewal, seemed to 
bring with it something of confirmation, — ^it chanced, 
I say, that at that moment Griselda, Marchioness of 
Hartletop, was gracing the paternal mansion. It need 
hardly be said that the father was not slow to invoke 
such a daughter's counsel, and such a sister's aid. 
I am not quite sure that the mother would have 



"BY HEAVENS, HE HAD BETTER NOT!" 21 

been equally quick to ask her daughter's advice had 
she been left in the matter entirely to her own propen- 
sities. Mrs. Grantly had ever loved her daughter 
dearly, and had been very proud of that great success 
in life which Griselda had achieved ; but in late years, 
the child had become, as a woman, separate from the 
mother, and there had arisen, not unnaturally, a break 
of that close confidence which in early years had ex- 
isted between them. Griselda, Marchioness of Har- 
tletop, was more than ever a daughter to the archdea- 
con, even though he might never see her. Nothing 
could rob him of the honour of such a progeny, — 
nothing, even though there had been actual estrange- 
ment between them. But it was not so with Mrs. 
Grantly. Griselda had done very well, and Mrs. 
Grantly had rejoiced; but she had lost her child. 
Now the major, who had done well also, though in a 
much lesser degree, was still her child, moving in the 
same sphere of hfe with her, still dependent in a great 
degree upon his father's bounty, a neighbour in the 
county, a frequent visitor at the parsonage, and a vis- 
itor who could be received without any of that trouble 
which attended the unfrequent comings of Griselda, 
the marchioness, to the home of her youth. And for 
this reason Mrs. Grantly, terribly put out as she was at 
the idea of a marriage between her son and one stand- 
ing so poorly in the world's esteem as Grace Crawley, 
would not have brought forward the matter before her 
daughter, had she been left to her own desires. A 
marchioness in one's family is a tower of strength, no 
doubt ; but there are counsellors so strong that we do 
not wish to trust them, lest in the trusting we ourselves 
be overwhelmed by their strength. Now Mrs. Grantly 



' 



22 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

was by no means willing to throw her influence into 
the hands of her titled daughter. 

But the titled daughter was consulted and gave hei 
advice. On the occasion of the present visit to Plum- 
stead she had consented to lay her head for two nights 
on the parsonage pillows, and on the second evening 
her brother the major was to come over from Cosby 
Lodge to meet her. Before his coming the affair oi 
Grace Crawley was discussed. 

" It would break my heart, Griselda," said the arch* 
deacon, piteously, — " and your mother's." 

" There is nothing against the girPs character," said 
Mrs. Grantly, " and the father and mother are gentle* 
folks by birth ; but such a marriage for Henry would 
be very unseemly." 

" To make it worse, there is this terrible story about 
him," said the archdeacon. 

" I don't suppose there is much in that," said Mrs. 
Grantly. 

*' I can't say. There is no knowing. They told me 
to-day in Barchester that Soames is pressing the case 
against him." 

" Who is Soames, papa? " asked the marchioness. 

" He is Lord Lufton's man of business, my dear." 

"Oh, Lord Luf ton's man of business!" There was 
something of a sneer in the tone of the lady's voice as 
she mentioned Lord Lufton's name. 

" I am told," continued the archdeacon, " that 
Soames declares the cheque was taken from a pocket- 
book which he left by accident in Crawley's house." 

'* You don't mean to say, archdeacon, that you think 
that Mr. Crawley, — a clergyman, — stole it!" said Mrs. 
Grantly. 



" BY HEAVENS, HE HAD BETTER NOT ! " 23 

'* I don't say anything of the kind, my dear. But 
supposing Mr. Crawley to be as honest as the sun, you 
would n't wish Henry to marry his daughter." 

" Certainly not," said the mother. ''It would be an 
unfitting marriage. The poor girl has had no advan- 
tages." 

" He is not able even to pay his baker's bill. I al- 
ways thought Arabin was very wrong to place such a 
man in such a parish as Hogglestock. Of course the 
family could not live there." The Arabin here spoken 
of was Dr. Arabin, dean of Barchester. The dean 
and the archdeacon had married sisters, and there was 
much intimacy between the families. 

"After all it is only a rumour as yet," said Mrs. 
Grantly. 

" Fothergill told me only yesterday, that he sees her 
almost every day," said the father. " What are we to 
do, Griselda? You know how headstrong Henry is." 
The marchioness sat quite still, looking at the fire, and 
made no immediate answer to this address. 

" There is nothing for it, but that you should tell 
him what you think," said the mother. 

"If his sister were to speak to him, it might do 
much," said the archdeacon. To this Mrs. Grantly said 
nothing ; but Mrs. Grantly's daughter understood very 
well that her mother's confidence in her was not equal 
to her father's. Lady Hartletop said nothing, but still 
sat, with impassive face, and eyes fixed upon the fire. 
" I think that if you were to speak to him, Griselda, 
and tell him that he would disgrace his family, he 
would be ashamed to go on with such a marriage," 
said the father. " He would feel, connected as he is 
with Lord Hartletop " 



24 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" I don't think he would feel anything about that," 
said Mrs. Grantly. 

" I dare say not," said Lady Hartletop. 

"I am sure he ought to feel it," said the father. 
They were all silent, and sat looking at the fire. 

"I suppose, papa, you allow Henry an income," 
said Lady Hartletop, after a wnile. 

" Indeed I do, — eight hundred a year." 

" Then I think I should tell him that that must de- 
pend upon his conduct. Mamma, if you won*t mind 
ringing the bell, 1 will send for Cecile, and go upstairs 
and dress." Then the marchioness went upstairs to 
dress, and in about an hour the major arrived in his 
dog-cart. He also was allowed to go upstairs to dress 
before anything was said to him about his great 
offence. 

" Griselda is right," said the archdeacon, speaking 
to his wife out of his dressing-room. " She always was 
right. I never knew a young woman with more sense 
than Griselda." 

" But you do not mean to say that in any event you 
would stop Henry's income? " Mrs. Grantly also was 
dressing, and made reply out of her bedroom. 

" Upon my word, I don't know. As a father I 
would do anything to prevent such a marriage as that." 

"But if he did marry her in spite of the threat? 
And he would if he had once said so." 

" Is a father's word, then, to go for nothing ; and a 
father who allows his son eight hundred a year? If 
he told the girl that he would be ruined she could n't 
hold him to it." 

" My dear, they 'd know as well as I do, that you 
would give way after three months." 



4t 



BY HEAVENS, HE HAD BETTER NOT!" 2$ 



it 

tt 



But why should I give way? Good heavens!" 
Of course you 'd give way, and of course we 
should have the young woman here, and of course we 
should make the best of it." 

The idea of having Grace Crawley as a daughter at 
the Plumstead Rectory was too much for the arch- 
deacon, and he sesented it by additional vehemence in 
the tone of his voice, and a nearer personal approach 
to the wife of his bosom. All unaccoutred as he was, 
he stood in the doorway between the two rooms, and 
thence fulminated at his wife his assurances that he 
would never allow himself to be immersed in such a 
depth of humility as that she had suggested. " I can 
tell you this, then, that if ever she comes here, I shall 
take care to be away. I will never receive her here. 
You can do as you please." 

" That is just what I cannot do. If I could do as I 
pleased, I would put a stop to it at once." 

" It seems to me that you want to encoiurage him. 
A child about sixteen years of age! " 

" I am told she is nineteen." 

"What does it matter if she was fifty-nine? Think 
of what her bringing up has been. Think what it 
would be to have all the Crawleys in our house for 
ever, and all their debts, and all their disgrace ! " 

"I do not know that they have ever been dis- 
graced." 

" You '11 see. The whole county has heard of the 
affair of this twenty pounds. Look at that dear girl 
upstairs, who has been such a comfort to us. Do you 
think it would be fit that she and her husband should 
meet such a one as Grace Crawley at oiu* table? " 

" I don't think it would do them a bit of harm," said 



26 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Mrs. Grantly. " But there would be no chance of that, 
seeing that Griselda's husband never comes to us." 

" He was here the year before last." 

**AndI never was so tired of a man in all my life." 

"Then you prefer the Crawleys, I suppose. This 
is what you get from Eleanor's teaching." Eleanor 
was the dean's wife, and Mrs. Grantly's younger sister. 
" It has always been a sorrow to me that I ever brought 
Arabin into the diocese." 

" I never asked you to bring him, archdeacon. But 
nobody was so glad as you when he proposed to 
Eleanor." 

" Well, the long and short of it is this, I shall tell 
Henry to-night that if he makes a fool of himself with 
this girl, he must not look to me any longer for an in- 
come. He has about six hundred a year of his own, 
and if he chooses to throw himself away, he had better 
go and live in the south of France, or in Canada, or 
where he pleases. He shan't come here." 

" I hope he won't marry the girl, with all my heart," 
said Mrs. Grantly. 

"He had better not. By heavens, he had better 
not!" 

" But if he does you '11 be the first to forgive him." 

On hearing this the archdeacon slammed the door, 
and retired to his washing apparatus. At the present 
moment he was very angry with his wife, but then she 
was so accustomed to such anger, and was so well 
aware that it in truth meant nothing, that it did not 
make her unhappy. The archdeacon and Mrs. Grantly 
had now been man and wife for more than a quarter 
of a century, and had never in truth quarrelled. He 
had the most profound respect for her judgment, and 



9t 



BY HEAVENS, HE HAD BETTER NOT ! " 27 



the most implicit reliance on her conduct. She had 
never yet offended him, or caused him to repent the 
hour in which he had made her Mrs. Grantly. But she 
had come to understand that she might use a woman's 
privilege with her tongue ; aud she used it, — ^not alto- 
gether to his comfort. On the present occasion he was 
the more annoyed because he felt that she might be 
right. " It would be a positive disgrace, and I never 
would see him again," he said to himself. And yet, as 
he said it,iie knew that he would not have the strength 
of character to carry him through a prolonged quarrel 
with his son. " I never would see her, — never, never! " 
he said to himself. "And then such an opening as he 
might have at his sister's house ! " 

Major Grantly had been a successful man in life, — 
with the one exception of having lost the mother of his 
child within a twelvemonth of his marriage and within 
a few hours of that child's birth. He had served in 
India as a very young man, and had been decorated 
with the Victoria Cross. Then he had married a lady 
with some money, and had left the active service of 
the army with the concurring advice of his own family 
and that of his wife. He had taken a small place in 
his father's county, but the wife for whose comfort he 
had taken it had died before she was permitted to see 
it. Nevertheless he had gone to reside there, hunting 
a good deal and*farming a little, making himself popu- 
lar in the district, and keeping up the good name of 
Grantly in a successful way, till — alas, — it had seemed 
good to him to throw those favouring eyes on poor 
Grace Crawley. His wife had now been dead just two 
years, and as he was still under thirty, no one could 
deny it would be right that he should marry again. 



it 



28 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

No one did deny it. His father had hinted that he 
ought to do so, and had generously whispered that if 
some little increase to the major's present income were 
needed, he might possibly be able to do something. 
" What is the good of keeping it? " the archdeacon had 
said in liberal after-dinner warmth. " I only want it 
for your brother and yourself." The brother was a 
clergyman. 

And the major's mother had strongly advised him to 
marry again without loss of time. " My dear Henry," 
she had said, "you 'U never be younger, and youth 
does go for something. As for dear little Edith, being 
a girl, she is almost no impediment. Do you know 
those two girls at Chaldicotes? " 

What, Mrs. Thome's nieces? " 

No; they are not her nieces but her cousins. 
Emily Dunstable is very handsome ; — and as for 
money — ! " 

" But what about birth, mother? " 

One can't have everything, my dear." 
*As far as I am concerned, I should like w have 
everything or nothing," the major had said, laughing. 
Now for him to think of Grace Crawley after that, — 
of Grace Crawley who had no money, and no particu- 
lar birth, and not even beauty itself, — so at least Mrs. 
Grantly said, — who had not even enjoyed the ordinary 
education of a lady, was too bad. Nothing had been 
wanting to Emily Dunstable's education, and it was 
calculated that she would have at least twenty thou- 
sand pounds on the day of her marriage. 

The disappointment to the mother would be the 
more sore because she had gone to work upon her 
little scheme with reference to Miss Emily Dunstable, 



ft 



•• BY HEAVENS, HE HAD BETTER NOT ! " 29 

and had at first, as she thought, seen her way to suc- 
cess, — to success in spite of the disparaging words 
which her son had spoken to her. Mrs. Thome's house 
at Chaldicotes, — or Dr. Thome's house, as it should, 
perhaps, be more properly called, for Dr. Thome was 
the husband of Mrs. Thorne, — was in these days the 
pleasantest house in Barsetshire. No one saw so much 
company as the Thomes, or spent so much money in 
so pleasant a way. The great county families, the 
Pallisers and the De Courcys, the Luftons and the 
Greshams, were no doubt grander, and some of them 
were perhaps richer than the Chaldicote Thomes, — as 
they were called to distinguish them from the Thomes 
of UUathome; but none of these people were so 
pleasant in their ways, so free in their hospitality, or so 
easy in their modes of living, as the doctor and his 
wife. When first Chaldicotes, a very old country-seat, 
had by the chances of war fallen into their hands and 
been newly furnished, and newly decorated, and newly 
gardened, and newly greenhoused and hot- watered by 
them, many of the county people had turned up their 
noses at them. Dear old Lady Lufton had done so, 
and had been greatly grieved, — saying nothing, how- 
ever, of her grief, — ^when her son and daughter-in-law 
had broken away from her, and submitted themselves 
to the blandishments of the doctor's wife. And the 
Grantlys had stood aloof, partly influenced, no doubt, 
by their dear and intimate old friend Miss Monica 
Thorne of UUathome, a lady of the very old school, 
who, though good as gold and kind as charity, could 
not endure that an interloping Mrs. Thorne, who never 
had a grandfather, should come to honom: and glory in 
the county, simply because of her riches. Miss Mon- 



30 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

ica Thome stood out, but Mrs. Grantly gave way, and 
having once given way found that Dr. Thorne, and 
Mrs. Thorne, and Emily Dunstable, and Chaldicote 
House together, were very charming. And the major 
had been once there with her, and had made himself 
very pleasant, and there had certainly been some little 
passage of incipient love between him and Miss Emily 
Dunstable, as to which Mrs. Thome, who managed 
everything, seemed to be well pleased. This had been 
after the first mention made by Mrs. Grantly to her son 
of Emily Dunstable's name, but before she had heard 
any faintest whispers of his fancy for Grace Crawley ; 
and she had therefore been justified in hoping, — almost 
in expecting, that Emily Dunstable would be her 
daughter-in-law, and was therefore the more aggrieved 
when this terrible Crawley peril first opened itself be- 
fore her eyes. 



CHAPTER III. 

THE archdeacon's THREAT. 

The dinner-party at the rectory comprised none but 
the Grantly family. The marchioness had written to 
say that she preferred to have it so. The father had 
suggested that the Thornes of UUathome, very old 
friends, might be asked, and the Greshams from Boxall 
Hill, and had even promised to endeavour to get old 
Lady Lufton over to the rectory, Lady Lufton having 
in former years been Griselda's warm friend. But 
Lady Hartletop had preferred to see her dear father 
and mother in privacy. Her brother Henry she would 
be glad to meet, and hoped to make some arrange- 
ment with him for a short visit to Hartlebury, her hus- 
band's place in Shropshire, — as to which latter hint, it 
may, however, be at once said, that nothing fiuther was 
spoken after the Crawley alliance had been suggested. 
And there had been a very sore point mooted by the 
daughter in a request made by her to her father that 
she might not be called upon to meet her grandfather, 
her mother's father, Mr. Harding, a clergyman of Bar- 
chester, who was now stricken in years. — " Papa would 
not have come," said Mrs. Grantly, " but I think, — I 
do think " Then she stopped herself. 

"Your father has odd ways sometimes, my dear. 
You know how fond I am of having him here myself." 

31 



32 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" It does not signify," said Mrs. Grantly. " Do no? 
let us say anything more about it. Of course we can* 
not have everything. I am told the child does her 
duty in her sphere of life, and I suppose we ought to 
be contented." Then Mrs. Grantly went up to her 
own room, and there she cried. Nothing was said to 
the major on the unpleasant subject of the Crawleys 
before dinner. He met his sister in the drawing-room, 
and was allowed to kiss her noble cheek. " I hope 
Edith is well, Henry," said the sister. " Quite well ; 
and little Dumbello is the same, I hope?" "Thank 
you, yes ; quite well." Then there seemed to be noth- 
ing more to be said between the two. The major 
never made inquiries after the august family, or would 
allow it to appear that he was conscious of being shone 
upon by the wife of a marquis. Any adulation which 
Griselda received of that kind came from her father, 
and, therefore, imconsciously she had learned to think 
that her father was better bred than the other members 
of her family, and more fitted by nature to move in 
that sacred circle to which she herself had been exalted. 
We need not dwell upon the dinner, which was but a 
dull affair. Mrs. Grantly strove to carry on the family 
party exactly as it would have been carried on had her 
daughter married the son of some neighbouring squire ; 
but she herself was conscious of the struggle, and the 
fact of there being a struggle produced failure. The 
rector's servants treated the daughter of the house with 
special awe, and the marchioness herself moved, and 
spoke, and ate, and drank with a cold magnificence, 
which I think had become a second natiu"e with her, 
but which was not on that account the less oppressive. 
Even the archdeacon, who enjoyed something in that 



THE ARCHDEACON'S THREAT. 33 

which was so disagreeable to his wife, felt a relief when 
he was left alone after dinner with his son. He felt 
relieved as his son got up to open the door for his 
mother and sister, but was aware at the same time that 
he had before him a most difficult and possibly a most 
disastrous task. His dear son Henry was not a man 
to be talked smoothly out of, or into, any propriety. 
He had a will of his own, and having hitherto been a 
successful man, who in youth had fallen into few 
youthful troubles, — who had never justified his father 
in using stem parental authority, — was not now inclined 
to bend his neck. " Henry," said the archdeacon, 
*' what are you drinking? That *s '34 port, but it 's 
not just what it should be. Shall I send for another 
bottle? " 

" It will do for me, sir. I shall only take a glass." 

" I shall drink two or three glasses of claret. But you 
young fellows have become so desperately temperate." 

" We take our wine at dinner, sir." 
By-the-bye, how well Griselda is looking." 
Yes, she is. It 's always easy for women to look 
well when they 're rich." How would Grace Crawley 
look, then, who was poor as poverty itself, and who 
should remain poor, if his son was fool enough to marry 
her? That was the train of thought which ran through 
the archdeacon's mind. "I do not think much of 
riches," said he, " but it is always well that a gentle- 
man's wife or a gentleman's daughter should have a 
sufficiency to maintain her position in life." 

" You may say the same, sir, of everybody's wife 
and everybody's daughter." 

" You know what I mean, Henry." 

" I am not quite sure that I do, sir." 

VOL. I. — '6 



it 



34 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

*' Perhaps I had better speak out at once. A ru. 
mour has reached your mother and me, which we don't 
believe for a moment, but which, nevertheless, makes 
us unhappy even as a report. They say that there is 
a young woman living in Silverbridge to whom you 
are becoming attached." 

"Is there any reason why I should not become 
attached to a young woman in Silverbridge? — though 
I hope any young woman to whom I may become 
attached will be worthy at any rate of being called a 
young lady." 

" I hope so, Henry ; I hope so. I do hope so." 

'* So much I will promise, sir ; but I will promise 
nothing more." 

The archdeacon looked across into his son's face, 
and his heart sank within him. His son's voice and 
his son's eyes seemed to tell him two things. They 
seemed to tell him, firstly, that the rumour about Grace 
Crawley was true ; and, secondly, that the major was 
resolved not to be talked out of his folly. " But you 
are not engaged to any one, are you? " said the arch- 
deacon. The son did not at first make any answer, 
and then the father repeated the question. " Consider- 
ing our mutual positions, Henry, I think you ought to 
tell me if you are engaged." 

" I am not engaged. Had I become so, I should 
have taken the first opportunity of telling either you or 
my mother." 

" Thank God. Now, my dear boy, I can speak out 
more plainly. The young woman whose name I have 
heard is daughter to that Mr. Crawley who is perpetual 
curate at Hogglestock. I knew that there could be 
nothing in it." 



It 



THE archdeacon's THREAT. 35 

" But there is something in it, sir." 

"What is there in it? Do not keep me in suspense. 
Henry. What is it you mean? " 

" It is rather hard to be cross-questioned in this way 
on such a subject. When you express yourself as 
thankful that there is nothing in the rumour, I am 
forced to stop you, as otherwise it is possible that 
hereafter you may say that I have deceived you." 
But you don't mean to marry her? " 
I certainly do not mean to pledge myself not to 
do so." 

" Do you mean to tell me, Henry, that you are in 
love with Miss Crawley? " Then there was another 
pause, dming which the archdeacon sat looking for an 
answer ; but the major said never a word. "Am I to 
suppose that you intend to lower yourself by marrying 
a young woman who cannot possibly have enjoyed any 
of the advantages of a lady's education? I say noth- 
ing of the imprudence of the thing; nothing of her 
own want of fortune ; nothing of your having to main- 
tain a whole family steeped in poverty ; nothing of the 
debts and character of the father, upon whom, as I 
understand, at this moment there rests a very grave 
suspicion of — of — of — what I 'm afraid I must call 
downright theft." 

Downright theft, certainly, — ^if he were guilty." 
I say nothing of all that ; but looking at the young 
woman herself — " 

" She is simply the best educated girl whom it has 
ever been my lot to meet." 

" Henry, I have a right to expect that you will be 
honest with me." 

" I am honest with you." 



it 



36 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARStcT. 

" Do you mean to ask this girl to marry you? " 

'* I do not think that you have any right to ask me 
that question, sir." 

" I have a right at any rate to tell you this, that if 
you so far disgrace yourself and me, I shall consider 
myself bound to withdraw from you all the sanction 
which would be conveyed by my — ^my — ^my continued 
assistance." 

"Do you intend me to understand that you will 
stop my income? " 

" Certainly I should." 

" Then, sir, I think you would behave to me most 
cruelly. You advised me to give up my profession." 

" Not in order that you might marry Grace Crawley." 

** I claim the privilege of a man of my age to do as 
I please in such a matter as marriage. Miss Crawley 
is a lady. Her father is a clergyman, as is mine. Her 
father's oldest friend is my uncle. There is nothing on 
earth against her except her poverty. I do not think 
I ever heard of such cruelty on a father's part." 

" Very well, Henry." 

" I have endeavoured to do my duty by you, sir, al- 
ways ; and by my mother. You can treat me in this 
way, if you please, but it will not have any effect on 
my conduct. You can stop my allowance to-morrow, 
if you like it. I had not as yet made up my mind to 
make an offer to Miss Crawley, but I shall now do so 
to-morrow morning." 

This was very bad indeed, and the archdeacon was 
extremely unhappy. He was by no means at hearj; a 
cruel man. He loved his children dearly. If this disa- 
greeable marriage were to take place, he would doubt- 
less do exactly as his wife had predicted. He would 



THE archdeacon's THREAT. 37 

not Stop his son's income for a single quarter ; and, 
though he went on telling himself that he would stop 
it, he knew in his own heart that any such severity was 
beyond his power. He was a generous man in money 
matters, — Shaving a dislike for poverty which was not 
generous, — and for his own sake could not have en- 
dured to see a son of his in want. But he was terribly 
anxious to exercise the power which the use of the 
threat might give him. " Henry," he said, " you are 
treating me badly, very badly. My anxiety has always 
been for the welfare of my children. Do you think that 
Miss Crawley would be a fitting sister-in-law for that 
dear girl upstairs? " 

" Certainly I do, or for any other dear girl in the 
world; — excepting that Griselda, who is not clever, 
would hardly be able to appreciate Miss Crawley, who 
is clever." 

" Griselda not clever! Good heavens! " Then there 
was another pause, and as the major said nothing, the 
father continued his entreaties. " Pray, pray think of 
what my wishes are, and yoiu: mother's. You are not 
committed as yet. Pray think of us while there is time. 
I would rather double your income if I saw you marry 
any one that we could name here." 

" I have enough as it is, if I may only be allowed to 
know that it will not be capriciously withdrawn." The 
archdeacon filled his glass unconsciously, and sipped 
his wine, while he thought what further he might say. 
Perhaps it might be better that he should say nothing 
further at the present moment. The major, however, 
was indiscreet, and pushed the question. " May I un- 
derstand, sir, that your threat is withdrawn, and that 
my income is secure? " 



38 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 



tt 



What, if you marry this girl? " 
Yes, sir ; will my income be continued to me if I 
marry Miss Crawley? " 

" No ; it will not." Then the father got up hastily, 
pushed the decanter back angrily from his hand, and 
without saying another word walked away into the 
drawing-room. That evening at the rectory was very 
gloomy. The archdeacon now and again said a word 
or two to his daughter, and his daughter answered him 
in monosyllables. The major sat apart moodily, and 
spoke to no one. Mrs. Grantly, understanding well 
what had passed, knew that nothing could be done at 
the present moment to restore family comfort ; so she 
sat by the fire and knitted. Exactly at ten they all 
went to bed. 

" Dear Henry," said the mother to her son the next 
morning ; " think much of yourself, and of your child, 
and of us, before you take any great step in life." 

" I will, mother," said he. Then he went out and put 
on his wrapper, and got into his dog-cart, and drove 
himself off to Silverbridge. He had not spoken to his 
father since they were in the dining-room on the previ- 
ous evening. When he started, the marchioness had 
not yet come downstairs; but at eleven she break- 
fasted, and at twelve she also was taken away. Poor 
Mrs. Grantly had not had much comfort from her 
children's visits. 



r 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE clergyman's HOUSE AT HOGGLESTOCK. 

Mrs. Crawley had walked from Hogglestock to 
Silverbridge on the occasion of her visit to Mr. Walker, 
the attorney, and had been kindly sent back by that 
gentleman in his wife's little open carriage. The tid- 
ings she brought home with her to her husband were 
very grievous. The magistrates would sit on the next 
Thursday, — ^it was then Friday, — ^and Mr. Crawley had 
better appear before them to answer the charge made 
by Mr. Soames. He would be served with a summons, 
which he could obev of his own accord. There had 



been many points very closely discussed between 
Walker and Mrs. Crawley « as to which there had been 
great difficulty in the choice oi; words which should be 
tender enough in regard lo the feelings of the poor 
lady, and yet strong enough to convey to her the very 
facts as they stood. Would Mr. Crawley come, or 
must a policeman be sent to fetch him? The magis- 
trates had already issued a warrant for his apprehen- 
sion. Such in truth was the fact, but they had agreed 
with Mr. Walker, that as there was no reasonable 
ground for anticipating any attempt at escape on the 
part of the reverend gentleman, the lawyer might use 
what gentle means he could for ensuring the clergy- 
man's attendance. Could Mrs. Crawley undertake to 



40 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

say that he would appear? Mrs. Crawley did under- 
take either that her husband should appear on the 
Thursday, or else that she would send over in the early 
part of the week and declare her inability to ensure his 
appearance. In that case it was understood the police- 
man must come. Then Mr. Walker had suggested that 
Mr. Crawley had better employ a lawyer. Upon this 
Mrs. Crawley had looked beseechingly up into Mr. 
Walker's face, and had asked him to undertake the 
duty. He was of course obliged to explain that he 
was already employed on the other side. Mr. Soames 
had secured his services, and though he was willing to 
do all in his power to mitigate the sufferings of the 
family, he could not abandon the duty he had under- 
taken. He named another attorney, however, and 
then sent the poor woman home in his wife's carriage. 
" I fear that unfortunate man is guilty. I fear he is," 
Mr. Walker had said to his wife within ten minutes of 
the departure of the visitor. 

Mrs. Crawley would not allow herself to be driven 
up to the garden gate before her own house, but had 
left the carriage some three hundred yards off, down 
the road, and from thence she walked home. It was 
now quite dark. It was nearly six in the evening on 
a wet December night, and although cloaks and shawls 
had been supplied to her, she was wet and cold when 
she reached her home. But at such a moment, 
anxious as she was to prevent the additional evil which 
would come to them all from illness to herself, she 
could not pass through to her room till she had spoken 
to her husband. He was sitting in the one sitting-room 
on the left side of the passage as the house was entered, 
and with him was their daughter Jane, a girl now 



THE clergyman's HOUSE AT HOGGLESTOCK. 41 

nearly sixteen years of age. There was no light in the 
room, and hardly more than a spark of fire showed it- 
self in the grate. The father was sitting on one side 
of the hearth, in an old arm-chair, and there he had 
sat for tlie last hour without speaking. His daughter 
had been in and out of the room, and had endeavoured 
to gain his attention now and again by a word, but he 
had never answered her, and had not even noticed her 
presence. At the moment when Mrs. Crawley's step 
was heard upon the gravel which led to the door, Jane 
was kneeling before the fire with a hand upon her 
father's arm. She had tried to get her hand into his, 
but he had either been unaware of the attempt, or had 
rejected it. 

" Here is mamma, at last," said Jane, rising to her 
feet as her mother entered the house. 

" Are you all in the dark? " said Mrs. Crawley, striv- 
ing to speak in a voice that should not be sorrowful. 

" Yes, mamma ; we are in the dark. Papa is here. 
Oh, mamma, how wet you are! " 

" Yes, dear. It is raining. Get a light out of the 
kitchen, Jane, and I will go upstairs in two minutes." 
Then, when Jane was gone, the wife made her way in 
the dark over to her husband's side, and spoke a word 
to him. " Josiah," she said, " will you not speak to 
me?" 

"What should I speak about? Where have you 
been?" 

" I have been to Silverbridge. I have been to Mr. 
Walker. He, at any rate, is very kind." 

"I do not want his kindness. I want no man's 
kindness. Mr. Walker is the attorney, I believe. 
Kind, indeed ! " 



43 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 



t€ 



I mean considerate. Josiah, let us do the best we 
can in this trouble. We have had others as heavy 
before." 

" But none to crush me as this will crush me. Well ; 
what am I to do? Am I to go to prison — to-night? " 
At this moment his daughter returned with a candle, 
and the mother could not make her answer at once. 
It was a wretched, poverty-stricken room. By degrees 
the carpet had disappeared, which had been laid down 
some nine or ten years since, when they had first come 
to Hogglestock, and which even then had not been 
new. Now nothing but a poor fragment of it remained 
in front of the fireplace. In the middle of the room 
there was a table which had once been large ; but one 
flap of it was gone altogether, and the other flap sloped 
grievously towards the floor, the weakness of old age 
having fallen into its legs. There were two or three 
smaller tables about, but they stood propped against 
walls, thence obtaining a security which their own 
strength would not give them. At the further end of 
the room there was an ancient piece of furniture, which 
was always called papa's "secretary," at which Mr. 
Crawley customarily sat and wrote his sermons, and 
did all work that was done by him within his house. 
The man who had made it, some time in the last cen- 
tury, had intended it to be a locked guardian for do- 
mestic documents, and the receptacle for all that was 
most private in the house of some paterfamilias. But 
beneath the hands of Mr. Crawley it always stood 
open ; and with the exception of the small space at 
which he wrote, was covered with dog's-eared books, 
from nearly all of which the covers had disappeared. 
There were there two odd volumes of Euripides, a 



THE clergyman's HOUSE AT HOGGLESTOCK. 43 

Greek Testament, an Odyssey, a duodecimo Pindar, 
and a miniature Anacreon. There was half a Horace, 
— the two first books of the Odes at the beginning, and 
the De Arte Poetica at the end having disappeared. 
There was a Httle bit of a volume of Cicero, and there 
were Caesar's Commentaries, in two volumes, so stoutly 
boimd that they had defied the combined ill-usage of 
time and the Crawley family. All these were piled 
upon the secretary, with many others,-^odd volumes 
of sermons and the like ; but the Greek and Latin lay 
at the top, and showed signs of most frequent use. 
There was one arm-chair in the room, — a Windsor- 
chair, as such used to be called, made soft by an old 
cushion in the back, in which Mr. Crawley sat when 
both he and his wife were in the room, and Mrs. Craw- 
ley when he was absent. And there was an old horse- 
hair sofa, — ^now almost denuded of its horsehair, — ^but 
that, like the tables, required the assistance of a friendly 
wall. Then there was half-a-dozen of other chairs, — 
all of different sorts, — and they completed the furniture 
of the room. It was not such a room as one would 
wish to see inhabited by a beneficed clergyman of the 
Church of England ; but they who know what money 
will do and what it will not, will understand how easily 
a man with a family, and with a hundred and thirty 
pounds a year, may be brought to the need of inhabit- 
ing such a chamber. When it is remembered that 
three pounds of meat a day, at ninepence a pound, will 
cost over forty pounds a year, there need be no diffi- 
culty in understanding that it may be so. Bread for 
such a family must cost at least twenty-five pounds. 
Clothes for five persons, of whom one must at any rate 
wear the raiment of a gentleman, can hardly be found 



44 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

for less than ten pounds a year a head. Then there 
remains fifteen pounds for tea, sugar, beer, wages, edu- 
cation, amusements, and the like. In such circum- 
stances a gentleman can hardly pay much for the 
renewal of his furniture! 

Mrs. Crawley could not answer her husband's ques- 
tion before her daughter, and was therefore obliged to 
make another excuse for again sending her out of the 
room. " Jane, dear," she said, " bring my things down 
to the kitchen and I will change them by the fire. I 
will be there in two minutes, when I have had a word 
with your papa." The girl went immediately, and then 
Mrs. Crawley answered her husband's question. " No, 
my dear ; there is no question of your going to prison." 

" But there will be." 

"I have undertaken that you shall attend before 
the magistrates at Silverbridge on Thursday next, at 
twelve o'clock. You will do that? " 

" Do it! You mean, I suppose, to say that I must 
go there. Is anybody to come and fetch me? " 

" Nobody will come. Only you must promise that 
you will be there. I have promised for you. You 
will go ; will you not? " She stood leaning over him, 
half -embracing him, waiting for an answer ; but for a 
while he gave none. " You will tell me that you will 
do what I have undertaken for you, Josiah? " 

" I think I would rather that they fetched me. I 
think that I will not go myself." 

" And have policemen come for you into the parish I 
Mr. Walker has promised that he will send over his 
phaeton. He sent me home in it to-day." 

" I want nobody's phaeton. If I go I will walk. 
If it were ten times the distance, and though I had not 



THE clergyman's HOUSE AT HOGGLESTOCK. 45 

a shoe left to my feet, I would walk. If I go there at 
all, of my own accord, I will walk there." 

"But you will go?" 

"What do I care for the parish? What matters it 
who sees me now? I cannot be degraded worse than 
I am. Everybody knows it." 

" There is no disgrace without guilt," said his wife. 

" Everybody thinks me guilty. I see it in their eyes. 
The children know of it, and I hedr their whispers in 
the school, ' Mr. Crawley has taken some money.' I 
heard the girl say it myself." 

"What matters what the girl says? " 

" And yet you would have me go in a fine carriage 
to Silverbridge, as though to a wedding. If I am 
wanted there let them take me as they would another. 
I ?hall be here for them, — ^unless I am dead." 

\t this moment Jane reappeared, pressing her 
mother to take off her wet clothes, and Mrs. Crawley 
went with her daughter to the kitchen. The one red- 
armed young girl who was their only servant was sent 
away, and then the mother and child discussed how 
best they might prevail with the head of the family. 
" But, mamma, it must come right ; must it not? " 

" I trust it will. I think it will. But I cannot see 
my way as yet." 

" Papa cannot have done anything wrong." 

" No, my dear ; he has done nothing wrong. He 
has made great mistakes, and it is hard to make people 
understand that he has not intentionally spoken un- 
truths. He is ever thinking of other things, about the 
school, and his sermons, and he does not remember." 

"And about how poor we are, mamma." 

" He has much to occupy his mind, and he forgets 



ft 






46 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

things which dwell in the memory with other people. 
He said that he had got this money from Mr. Soames, 
and of course he thought that it was so." 

And where did he get it, mamma? " 

Ah, — I wish I knew. I should have said that I 
had seen every shilling that came into the house ; but 
I know nothing of this cheque, — ^whence it came." 
" But will not papa tell you? " 
" He would tell me if he knew. He thinks it came 
from the dean." 

And are you sure it did not? " 

Yes ; quite sure ; as sure as I can be of anything. 
The dean told me he would give him fifty pounds, and 
the fifty pounds came. I had them in my own hands. 
And he has written to say that it was so." 

But could n*t this be part of the fifty pounds? " 

No, dear, no." 

Then where did papa get it? Perhaps he picked 
it up, and has forgotten? " 

To this Mrs. Crawley made no reply. The idea 
that the cheque had been found by her husband, — ^had 
been picked up as Jane had said, — ^had occurred also 
to Jane's mother. Mr. Soames was confident that he 
had dropped the pocket-book at the parsonage. Mrs. 
Crawley had always disliked Mr. Soames, thinking him 
to be hard, cruel, and vulgar. She would not have 
hesitated to beUeve him guilty of a falsehood, or even 
of direct dishonesty, if by so believing she could in her 
own mind have found the means of reconciling her 
husband's possession of the cheque with absolute truth 
on his part. But she could not do so. Even though 
Soames had, with devilish premeditated malice, slipped 
the cheque into her husband's pocket, his having done 



it 

it 



THE CLERGYMAN S HOUSE AT HOGGLESTOCK. 47 

SO would not account for her husband's having used 
the cheque when he found it there. She was driven 
to make excuses for him which, valid as they might be 
with herself, could not be vahd with others. He had 
said that Mr. Soames had paid the cheque to him. 
That was clearly a mistake. He had said that the 
cheque had been given to him by the dean. That was 
clearly another mistake. She knew, or thought she 
knew, that he, being such as he was, might make such 
blunders as these, and yet be true. She believed that 
such statements might be blunders and not falsehoods, 
— so convinced was she that her husband's mind would 
not act at all times as do the minds of other men. 
But having such a conviction she was driven to believe 
also that almost anything might be possible. Soames 
may have been right, or he might have dropped, not 
the book, but the cheque. She had no difficulty in 
presuming Soames to be wrong in any detail, if by 
so supposing she could make the exculpation of her 
husband easier to herself. If villany on the part of 
Soames was needful to her theory, Soames would be- 
come to her a villain at once, — of the blackest dye. 
Might it not be possible that the cheque having thus 
fallen into her husband's hands, he had come, after a 
while, to think that it had been sent to him by his 
friend, the dean? And if it were so, would it be pos- 
sible to make others so believe? That there was some 
mistake which would be easily explained were her hus- 
band's mind lucid at all points, but which she could 
not explain because of the darkness of his mind, she 
was thoroughly convinced. But were she herself to 
put forward such a defence on her husband's part, she 
would, in doing so, be driven to say that he was a 



48 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

lunatic, — that he was incapable of managing the affairs 
of himself or his family. It seemed to her that she 
would be compelled to have him proved to be either a 
thief or a madman. And yet she knew that he was 
neither. That he was not a thief was as clear to her 
as the sun at noonday. Could she have lain on the 
man's bosom for twenty years, and not yet have learned 
the secrets of the heart beneath? The whole mind 
of the man was, as she told herself, within her grasp. 
He might have taken the twenty pounds; he might 
have taken it and spent it, though it was not his own ; 
but yet he was no thief. Nor was he a madman. No 
man more sane in, preaching the gospel of his Lord, in 
making intelligible to the ignorant the promises of his 
Saviour, ever got into a parish pulpit, or taught in a 
parish school. The intelle<;t of the man was as clear 
as running water in all things not appertaining to his 
daily life and its difficulties. He could be logical with 
a vengeance, — so logical as to cause infinite trouble to 
his wife, who, with all her good sense, was not logical. 
And he had Greek at his fingers* ends, — as his daugh- 
ter knew very well. And even to this day he would 
sometimes recite to them English poetry, lines after 
lines, stanzas upon stanzas, in a sweet, low, melancholy 
voice, on long winter evenings when occasionally the 
burden of his troubles would be lighter to him than was 
usual. Books in Latin and in French he read with as 
much ease as in English, and took delight in such as 
came to him, when he would condescend to accept 
such loans from the deanery. And there was at times 
a lightness of heart about the man. In the course of 
the last winter he had translated into Greek irregular 
verse the very noble ballad of Lord Bateman, main* 



THE clergyman's HOUSE AT HOGGLESTOCK. 49 

taining the rhythm and the rhyme, and had repeated 
it with uncouth glee till his daughter knew it all by 
heart. And when there had come to him a five-pound 
note from some admiring magazine editor as the price 
of the same, — still through the dean's hands, — ^he had 
brightened up his heart, and had thought for an hour 
or two that even yet the world would smile upon him. 
His wife knew well that he was not mad ; but yet she 
knew that there were dark moments with him, in which 
his mind was so much astray that he could not justly 
be called to account as to what he might remember 
and what he might forget. How would it be possible 
to explain all this to a judge and jury, so that they 
might neither say that he was dishonest, nor yet that 
he was mad ? " Perhaps he picked it up, and had for- 
gotten," her daughter said to her. Perhaps it was so, 
but she might not as yet admit as much even to her 
child. 

" It is a mystery, dear, as yet, which, with God's aid, 
will be unravelled. Of one thing we at least may be 
sure ; that your papa has not wilfully done anything 
wrong." 

" Of course we are sure of that, mamma." 
Mrs. Crawley had many troubles during the next 
four or five days, of which the worst, perhaps, had 
reference to the services of the Sunday which intervened 
between the day of her visit to Silverbridge, and the 
sitting of the magistrates. On the Saturday it was 
necessary that he should prepare his sermons, of which 
he preached two on every Sunday, though his congre- 
gation consisted only of farmers, brickmakers, and 
agricultural labourers who would willingly have dis- 
pensed with the second. Mrs. Crawley proposed to 

TOL. I. — 4 



* ^ 



* 



50 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

send over to Mr. Robarts, a neighbouring clergyman, 
for the loan of a curate. Mr. Robarts was a warm 
friend to the Crawleys, and in such an emergency 
would probably have come himself ; but Mr. Crawley 
would not hear of it. The discussion took place early 
on the Saturday morning, before it was as yet daylight, 
for the poor woman was thinking day and night of her 
husband's troubles, and it had this good effect, that 
immediately after breakfast he seated himself at his 
desk, and worked at his task as though he had forgot- 
ten all else in the world. 

And on the Sunday morning he went into his school 
before the hour of the church service, as had been his 
wont, and taught there as though everything with him 
was as usual. Some of the children were absent, hav- 
ing heard of their teacher's tribulation, and having been 
told probably that he would remit his work ; and for 
these absent ones he sent in great anger. The poor 
bairns came creeping in, for he was a man who by his 
manners had been able to secure their obedience in 
spite of his poverty. And he preached to the people 
of his parish on that Sunday, as he had always preached ; 
eagerly, clearly, with an eloquence fitted for the hearts 
of such an audience. No one would have guessed 
from his tones and gestures and appearance on that 
occasion, that there was aught wrong with him, — ^un- 
less there had been there some observer keen enough 
to perceive that the greater care which he used, and 
the special eagerness of his words, denoted a special 
frame of mind. 

After that, after those church services were over, he 
sank again, and never roused himself till the dreaded 
day had come. 



CHAPTER V. 

WHAT THE WORLD THOUGHT ABOUT IT. 

Opinion in Silverbridge, at Barchester, and through- 
out the county, was very much divided as to the guilt 
or innocence of Mr. Crawley. Up to the time of Mrs. 
Crawley's visit to Silverbridge, the affair had not been 
much discussed. To give Mr. Soames his due, he had 
been by no means anxious to press the matter against 
the clergyman ; but he had been forced to go on with 
it. While the first cheque was missing Lord Lufton 
had sent him a second cheque for the money, and the 
loss had thus fallen upon his lordship. The cheque 
had of course been traced, and inquiry had of course 
been made as to Mr. Crawley's possession of it. When 
that gentleman declared that he had received it from 
Mr. Soames, Mr. Soames had been forced to contra- 
dict and to resent such an assertion. When Mr. Craw- 
ley had afterwards said that the money had come to 
him from the dean, and when the dean had shown that 
this also was untrue, Mr. Soames, confident as he was 
that he had dropped the pocket-book at Mr. Crawley's 
house, could not but continue the investigation. He 
had done so with as much silence as the nature of the 
work admitted. But by the day of the magistrates' 
meeting at Silverbridge the subject had become com- 
mon through the county, and men's minds were very 
much divided. 

51 



52 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

All Hogglestock believed their parson to be inno- 
cent; but then all Hogglestock believed him to be 
mad. At Silverbridge the tradesmen with whom he 
had dealt, and to whom he had owed, and still owed, 
money, all declared him to be innocent. They knew 
something of the man personally, and could not believe 
him to be a thief. All the ladies in Silverbridge, too, 
were sure of his innocence. It was to them impossible 
that such a man should have stolen twenty pounds. 
"My dear," said the eldest Miss Prettyman to poor 
Grace Crawley, " in England, where the laws are good, 
no gentleman is ever made out to be guilty when he 
is innocent; and your papa, of course, is innocent. 
Therefore you should not trouble yourself." " It will 
break papa's heart," Grace had said, and she did 
trouble herself. But the gentlemen in Silverbridge 
were made of sterner stuff, and believed the man to be 
guilty, clergyman and gentleman though he was. Mr. 
Walker, who among the lights in Silverbridge was the 
leading light, would not speak a word upon the sub- 
ject to anybody ; and then everybody, who was any- 
body, knew that Mr. Walker was convinced of the 
man's guilt. Had Mr. Walker believed him to be in- 
nocent, his tongue would have been ready enough. 
John Walker, who was in the habit of laughing at his 
father's good-nature, had no doubt upon the subject. 
Mr. Winthrop, Mr. Walker's partner, shook his head. 
People did not think much of Mr. Winthrop, excepting 
certain unmarried ladies; for Mr. Winthrop was a 
bachelor, and had plenty of money. People did not 
think much of Mr. Winthrop ; but still on this subject 
he might know something, and when he shook his head 
he manifestly intended to indicate guilt. And Dr. 



WHAT THE WORLD THOUGHT ABOUT IT. 53 

Tempest, the rector of Silverbridge, did not hesitate to 
declare his behef in the guilt of the incumbent of 
Hogglestock. No man reverences a clergyman, as a 
clergyman, so slightly as a brother clergyman. To 
Dr. Tempest it appeared to be neither very strange 
nor very terrible that Mr. Crawley should have stolen 
twenty pounds. "What is a man to do," he said, 
"when he sees his children starving? He should not 
have married on such a preferment as that." Mr. 
Crawley had married, however, long before he got the 
living of Hogglestock. 

There were two Lady Luftons, — ^mother-in-law and 
daughter-in-law, — who at this time were living together 
at Framley Hall, Lord Lufton's seat in the county of 
Barset, and they were both thoroughly convinced of 
Mr. Crawley's innocence. The elder lady had lived 
much among clergymen, and could hardly, I think, by 
any means have been brought to believe in the guilt of 
any man who had taken upon himself the orders of 
the Church of England. She had also known Mr. 
Crawley personally for some years, and was one of 
those who could not admit to herself that any one was 
vile who had been near to herself. She believed in- 
tensely in the wickedness of the outside world, of the 
world which was far away from herself, and of which 
she never saw anything ; but they who were near to 
her, and who had even become dear to her, or who 
even had been respected by her, were made, as it were, 
saints in her imagination. They were brought into 
the inner circle, and could hardly be expelled. She 
was an old woman who thought all evil of those she 
did not know, and all good of those whom she did 
know; and as she did know Mr. Crawley, she was 



54 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

quite sure he had not stolen Mr. Soames's twenty 
pounds. She did know Mr. Soames also ; and thus 
there was a mystery for the unravelling of which she 
was very anxious. And the young Lady Lufton was 
equally as sure, and perhaps with better reason for 
such certainty. She had, in truth, known more of Mr. 
Crawley personally, than had any one in the county, 
unless it was the dean. The younger Lady Lufton, 
the present Lord Lufton's wife, had sojourned at one 
time in Mr. Crawley's house, amidst the Crawley pov- 
erty, living as they lived, and nursing Mrs. Crawley 
through an illness which had well-nigh been fatal to 
her; and the younger Lady Lufton believed in Mr. 
Crawley ; — ^as Mr. Crawley also believed in her. 

" It is quite impossible, my dear," the old woman 
said to her daughter-in-law. 

" Quite impossible, my lady." The dowager was 
always called " my lady," both by her own daughter 
and by her son's wife except in the presence of their 
children, when she was addressed as " grandmamma." 
" Think how well I knew him. It 's no use talking of 
evidence. No evidence would make me believe it." 

" Nor me ; and I think it a great shame that such a 
report should be spread about." 

" I suppose Mr. Soames could not help himself? " 
said the younger lady, who was not herself very fond 
of Mr. Soames. 
s " Ludovic says that he has only done what he was 

obliged to do." The Ludovic spoken of was Lord 
I Lufton. 

This took place in the morning ; but in the evening 
the affair was again discussed at Framley Hall. In- 
deed, for some days, there was hardly any other sub- 



WHAT THE WORLD THOUGHT ABOUT IT. 55 

ject held to be worthy of discussion in the county. 
Mr. Robarts, the clergyman of the parish and the 
brother of the younger Lady Lufton, was dining at 
the hall with his wife, and the three ladies had together 
expressed their perfect conviction of the falseness of 
the accusation. But when Lord Lufton and Mr. 
Robarts were together after the ladies had left them 
there was much less of this certainty expressed. " By 
Jove," said Lord Lufton, " I don't know what to think 
of it. I wish with all my heart that Soames had said 
nothing about it, and that the cheque had passed 
without remark." 

" That was impossible. When the banker sent to 
Soames, he was obliged to take the matter up." 

*' Of course he was. But I 'm sorry that it was so. 
For the life of me I can't conceive how the cheque got 
into Crawley's hands-" 

" I imagine that it had been lying in the house, and 
that Crawley had come to think that it was his own." 

" But, my dear Mark," said Lord Lufton, " excuse 
me if I say that that 's nonsense. What do we do 
when a poor man has come to think that another man's 
property is his own? We send him to prison for mak- 
ing the mistake." 

" I hope they won't send Crawley to prison." 
I hope so too ; but what is a jury to do? " 
You think it will go to a jury, then? " 

" I do,*' said Lord Lufton. " I don't see how the 
magistrates can save themselves from committing him. 
It is one of those cases in which every one concerned 
would wish to drop it if it were only possible. But it 
is not possible. On the evidence, as one sees it at 
present, one is bound to say that it is a case for a jury." 






56 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 



it 

ft 



I believe that he is mad," said the brother parson. 

He always was, as far as I could leam," said 
the lord. "I never knew him, myself. You do, I 
think? " 

" Oh, yes. I know him." And the vicar of Fram- 
ley became silent and thoughtful as the memory of a 
certain interview between himself and Mr. Crawley 
came back upon his mind. At that time the waters 
had nearly closed over his head, and Mr. Crawley had 
given him some help in his way. When the gentlemen 
had again found the ladies, they kept their own doubts 
to themselves ; for at Framley Hall, as at present ten- 
anted, female voices and female influences predomi- 
nated over those which came from the other sex. 

At Barchester, the cathedral city of the county in 
which the Crawleys lived, opinion was violently against 
Mr. Crawley. In the city, Mrs. Proudie, the wife of 
the bishop, was the leader of opinion in general, and 
she was very strong in her belief of the man's guilt 
She had known much of clergymen all her life, as it 
behoved a bishop's wife to do, and she had none of 
that mingled weakness and ignorance which taught so 
many ladies in Barsetshire to suppose that an ordained 
clergyman could not become a thief. She hated old 
Lady Lufton with all her heart, and old Lady Lufton 
hated her as warmly. Mrs. Proudie would say fre- 
quently that Lady Lufton was a conceited old idiot, 
and Lady Lufton would declare as frequentiy that 
Mrs. Proudie was a vulgar virago. It was known at 
the palace in Barchester that kindness had been shown 
to the Crawleys by the family at Framley Hall, and 
this alone would have been sufficient to make Mrs. 
Proudie believe that Mr. Crawley could have been 






WHAT THE WORLD THOUGHT ABOUT IT. 57 

guilty of any crime. And as Mrs. Proudie believed, 
SO did the bishop believe. "It is a terrible disgrace 
to the diocese," said the bishop, shaking his head, and 
patting his apron as he sat by his study fire. 
"Fiddlestick!" said Mrs. Proudie. 

But, my dear, — -a beneficed clergyman!" 

You must get rid of him ; that 's all. You must 
be firm whether he be acquitted or convicted." 

" But if he be acquitted, I cannot get rid of him, 
my dear." 

" Yes, you can, if you are firm. And you must be 
firm. Is it not true that he has been disgracefully in- 
volved in debt ever since he has been there ; that you 
have been pestered by letters from unfortunate trades- 
men who cannot get their money from him? " 

That is true, my dear, certainly." 

And is that kind of thing to go on? He cannot 
come to the palace as all clergymen should do, because 
he has got no clothes to come in. I saw him once 
about the lanes, and I never set my eyes on such an 
object in my life! I would not believe that the man 
was a clergyman till John told me. He is a disgrace 
to the diocese, and he must be got rid of. I feel sure 
of his guilt, and I hope he will be convicted. But if 
he escape conviction, you must sequestrate the living 
because of the debts. The income is enough to get 
an excellent curate. It would just do for Thumble." 
To all of which the bishop made no further reply, but 
simply nodded his head and patted his apron. He 
knew that he could not do exactly what his wife re- 
quired of him ; but if it should so turn out that poor 
Crawley was found to be guilty, then the matter would 
be comparatively easy. 



it 



58 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

"It should be an example to us, that we should 
look to our own steps, my dear," said the bishop. 

" That 's all very well," said Mrs. Proudie, " but it 
has become your duty, and mine too, to look to the 
steps of other people ; and that duty we must do." 

" Of course, my dear ; of course." That was the 
tone in which the question of Mr. Crawley's alleged 
guilt was discussed at the palace. 

We have already heard what was said on the subject 
at the house of Archdeacon Grantly. As the days 
passed by, and as other tidings came in, confirmatory 
of those which had before reached him, the archdeacon 
felt himself unable not to believe in the man's guilt. 
And the fear which he entertained as to his son's in- 
tended marriage with Grace Crawley tended to increase 
the strength of his belief. Dr. Grantly had been a 
very successful man of the world, and on all ordinary- 
occasions had been able to show that bold front with 
which success endows a man. But he still had his 
moments of weakness, and feared greatly lest anything 
of misfortune should touch him, and mar the comely 
roundness of his prosperity. He was very wealthy. 
The wife of his bosom had been to him all that a wife 
should be. His reputation in the clerical world stood 
very high. He had lived all his life on terms of equal- 
ity with the best of the gentry around him. His only 
daughter had made a splendid marriage. His two 
sons had hitherto done well in the world, not only as 
regarded their happiness, but as to marriage also, and 
as to social standing. But how great would be the 
fall if his son should at last marry the daughter of a 
convicted thief! How would the Proudies rejoice 
over him, — the Proudies who had been crushed to the 



WHAT THE WORLD THOUGHT ABOUT IT. 59 

ground by the success of the Hartletop alliance ; and 
how would the low-church ciu"ates who swarmed in 
Barsetshire, gather together and scream in delight over 
his dismay! "But why should we say that he is 
guilty?" said Mrs. Grantly. 

" It hardly matters, as far as we are concerned, 
whether they find him guilty or not," said the arch- 
deacon. "If Henry marries that giii my heart will 
be broken." 

But perhaps to no one except to the Crawleys them- 
selves had the matter caused so much terrible anxiety 
as to the archdeacon's son. He had told his father 
that he had made no offer of marriage to Grace Craw- 
ley, and he had told the truth. But there are perhaps 
few men who make such offers in direct terms without 
having already said and done that which makes such 
offers simply necessary as the final closing of an ac- 
cepted bargain. It was so at any rate between Major 
Grantly and Miss Crawley, and Major Grantly ac- 
knowledged to himself that it was so. He acknowl- 
edged also to himself that as regarded Grace herself 
he had no wish to get back from his implied intentions. 
Nothing that either his father or mother might say 
would shake him in that. But could it be his duty to 
bind himself to the family of a convicted thief? Could 
it be right that he should disgrace his father and his 
mother and his sister and his one child by such a con- 
nection? He had a man's heart, and the poverty of 
the Crawleys caused him no solicitude. But he shrank 
from the contamination of a prison. 



CHAPTER VI. 

GRACE CRAWLEY. 

It has already been said that Grace Crawley was at 
this time living with the two Miss Prettymans, who 
kept a girls* school at Silverbridge. Two more benig- 
nant ladies than the Miss Prettymans never presided 
over such an establishment. The yomiger was fat, and 
fresh, and fair, and seemed to be always running over 
with the milk of human kindness. The other was 
very thin and very small, and somewhat afflicted with 
bad health ; — ^was weak, too, in the eyes, and subject 
to racking headaches, so that it was considered gener- 
ally that she was unable to take much active part in 
the education of the pupils. But it was considered as 
generally that she did all the thinking, that she knew 
more than any other woman in Barsetshire, and that 
all the Prettyman schemes for education emanated 
from her mind. It was said, too, by those who knew 
them best, that her sister's good-natiu*e was as nothing 
to hers ; that she was the most charitable, the most 
loving, and the most conscientious of schoolmistresses. 
This was Miss Annabella Prettyman, the elder ; and 
perhaps it may be inferred that some portion of her 
great character for virtue may have been due to the 
fa^t that nobody ever saw her out of her own house. 

She could not even go to church because the open 

60 



GRACE CRAWLEY. 6 1 

air brought on neuralgia. She was therefore perhaps 
taken to be magnificent, partly because she was un- 
known. Miss Anne Prettyman, the younger, went 
about frequently to tea-parties, — would go, indeed, to 
any party to which she might be invited; and was 
known to have a pleasant taste for pouhd-cake and 
sweetmeats. Being seen so much in the outer world, 
she became common, and her character did not stand 
so high as did that of her sister. Some people were 
ill-natured enough to say that she wanted to marry 
Mr. Winthrop ; but of what maiden lady that goes out 
into the world are not such stories told? And all such 
stories in Silverbridge were told with special reference 
to Mr. Winthrop. 

Miss Crawley, at present, lived with the Miss Pretty- 
mans and assisted them in the school. This arrange- 
ment had been going on for the last twelve months, 
since the time in which Grace would have left the 
school in the natural com^e of things. There had been 
no bargain made, and no intention that Grace should 
stay. She had been invited to fill the place of an ab- 
sent superintendent, first for one month, then for an- 
other, and then for two more months ; and when the 
assistant came back, the Miss Prettymans thought there 
were reasons why Grace should be asked to remain a 
little longer. But they took great care to let the fash- 
ionable world of Silverbridge know that Grace Crawley 
was a visitor with them, and not a teacher. " We pay 
her no salary, or anything of that kind," said Miss 
Anne Prettyman ; a statement, however, which was by 
no means true, for during those four months the regu- 
lar stipend had been paid to her ; and twice since then. 
Miss Annabella Prettyman, who managed all the money 



6a THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

matters, had called Grace into her little room, and had 
made a little speech, and had put a little bit of paper 
into her hand. " I know I ought not to take it," Grace 
had said to her friend Anne. " If I was not here, there 
would be no one in my place." " Nonsense, my dear," 
Anne Prettyman had said ; " it is the greatest comfort 
to us in the world. And you should make yourself 
nice, you know, for his sake. All the gentlemen like 
it." Then Grace had been very angry and had sworn 
that she would give the money back again. Never- 
theless, I think she did make herself as nice as she 
knew how to do. And from all this it may be seen 
that the Miss Prettymans had hitherto quite approved 
of Major Grantly*s attentions. 

But when this terrible affair came on about the 
cheque which had been lost and found and traced to 
Mr. Crawley's hands. Miss Anne Prettyman said noth- 
ing further to Grace Crawley about Major Grantly. 
It was not that she thought that Mr. Crawley was 
guilty, but she knew enough of the world to be aware 
that suspicion of such guilt might compel such a man 
as Major Grantly to change his mind. " If he had 
only popped," Anne said to her sister, " it would have 
been all right. He would never have gone back from 
his word." " My dear," said Annabella, " I wish you 
would not talk about popping. It is a terrible word." 
" I shouldn't, to any one except you," said Anne. 

There had come to Silverbridge some few months 
since, on a visit to Mrs. Walker, a young lady from 
Alb'ngton, in the neighbouring county, between whom 
and Grace Crawley there had grown up from circum- 
stances a warm friendship, Grace had a cousin in 
London, — a clerk high up and well-to-do in a public 



GRACE CRAWLEY. 63 

office, a nephew of her mother's, — and this cousin was, 
and for years had been, violently smitten in love for 
this young lady. But the young lady's tale had been 
sad, and though she acknowledged feelings of most 
affectionate friendship for the cousin, she could not 
bring herself to acknowledge more. Grace Crawley 
had met the young lady at Silverbridge, and words had 
been spoken about the cousin ; and though the young 
lady from AUington was some years older than Grace, 
there had grown up to be a friendship, and, as is not 
uncommon between young ladies, there had been an 
agreement that they would correspond. The name of 
the lady was Miss Lily Dale, and the name of the well- 
to-do cousin in London was Mr. John Eames. 

At the present moment Miss Dale was at home with 
her mother at Allington, and Grace Crawley in her 
terrible sorrow wrote to her friend, pouring out her 
whole heart. As Grace's letter and Miss Dale's answer 
will assist us in our story, I will venture to give them 
both. 

** Silverbridge, December, iSO^s 

" Dearest Lily, — I hardly know how to tell you what 
has happened, it is so very terrible. But perhaps you 
will have heard it already, as everybody is talking of it 
here. It has got into the newspapers, and therefore 
it cannot be kept secret. Not that I should keep any- 
thing from you ; only this is so very dreadful that I 
hardly know how to write it. Somebody says, — a Mr. 
Soames, I believe it is, — that papa has taken some 
money that does not belong to him, and he is to be 
brought before the magistrates and tried. Of course 
papa has done nothing wrong. I do think he would 
be the last man in the world to take a penny that did 



64 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

not belong to him. You know how poor he is ; what 
a life he has had! But I think he would almost 
sooner see mamma starving; — I am sure he would 
rather be starved himself, than even borrow a shilling 
which he could not pay. To suppose that he would 
take money " (she had tried to write the word " steal," 
but she could not bring her pen to form the letters) " is 
monstrous. But, somehow, the circumstances have 
been made to look bad against him, and they say that 
he must come over here to the magistrates. I often 
think that of all men in the world papa is the most un- 
fortimate. Everything seems to go against him, and 
yet he is so good ! Poor mamma has been over here, 
and she is distracted. I never saw her so wretched 
before. She had been to your friend, Mr. Walker, and 
came to me afterwards for a minute. Mr. Walker has 
got something to do with it, though mamma says she 
thinks he is quite friendly to papa. I wonder whether 
you could find out, through Mr. Walker, what he thinks 
about it. Of course mamma knows that papa has 
done nothing wrong ; but she says that the whole thing 
is most mysterious, and that she does not know how 
to account for the money. Papa, you know, is not 
hke other people. He forgets things ; and is always 
thinking, thinking, thinking of his great misfortunes. 
Poor papa! My heart bleeds so when I remember 
all his sorrows, that I hate myself for thinking about 
myself. 

"When mamma left me,-r-and it was then I first 
knew that papa would really have to be tried, — I went 
to Miss Annabella, and told her that I would go home. 
She asked me why, and I said I would not disgrace 
her house by staying in it. She got up and took me 



GRACE CRAWLEY. 65 

in her arms, and there came a tear out of both her 
dear old eyes, and she said that if anything evil came 
to papa, — which she would not believe, as she knew 
him to be a good man, — there should be a home in her 
house not only for me, but for mamma and Jane. 
Is n*t she a wonderful woman? When I think of her, 
I sometimes think that she must be an angel already. 
Then she became very serious, — for just before, 
through her tears, she had tried to smile, — and she told 
me to remember that all people could not be like her, 
who had nobody to look to but herself and her sister ; 
and that at present I must task myself not to think of 
that which I had been thinking of before. She did 
not mention anybody's name, but of course I under- 
stood very well what she meant ; and I suppose she is 
right. I said nothing in answer to her, for I could not 
speak. She was holding my hand, and I took hers up 
and kissed it, to show her, if I could, that I knew that 
she was right ; but I could not have spoken about it 
for all the world. It was not ten days since that she 
herself, with all her prudence, told me that she thought 
I ought to make up my mind what answer I would 
give him. And then I did not say anything ; but of 
course she knew. And after that Miss Anne spoke 
quite freely about it, so that I had to beg her to be 
silent even before the girls. You know how imprudent 
she is. But it is all over now. Of course Miss Anna- 
bella is right. He has got a great many people to 
think of ; his father and mother, and his darling little 
Edith, whom he brought here twice, and left her with 
us once for two days, so that she got to know me quite 
well ; and I took such a love for her, that I could not 
bear to part with her. But I think sometimes that all 

VOL. I. — 6 



\* 



66 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

our family axe bom to be unfortunate, and then I tell 
myself that I will never hope for anything again. 

" Pray write to me soon. I feel as though nothing 
on earth could comfort me, and yet I shall like to have 
your letter. Dear, dear Lily, I am not even yet so 
wretched but what I shall rejoice to be told good news 
of you. If it only could be as John wishes it! And 
why should it not? It seems to me that nobody has 
a right or a reason to be unhappy except us. Good- 
bye, dearest Lily. 

" Your affectionate friend, 

"Grace Crawley." 

" P.S. — I think I have made up my mind that I will 
go back to Hogglestock at once if the magistrates 
decide against papa. I think I should be doing the 
school harm if I were to stay here." 

The answer to this letter did not reach Miss Crawley 
till after the magistrates* meeting on Thursday, but it 
will be better for our story that it should be given here 
than postponed until the result of that meeting shall 
have been told. Miss Dale's answer was as follows : — 

'* Allington, December, 186-. 

" Dear Grace, — ^Your letter has made me very un- 
happy. If it can at all comfort you to know that 
mamma and I sympathise with you altogether, of that 
you may at any rate be sure. But in such troubles 
nothing will give comfort. They must be bome till 
the fire of misfortune bums itself out. 

" I had heard about the affair a day or two before 
I got your note. Our clergyman, Mr. Boyce, told us 
of it. Of course we all know that the charge must be 



GRACE CRAWLEY. 67 

altogether unfounded, and mamma says that the truth 
will be sure to show itself at last. But that conviction 
does not cure the evil, and I can well understand that 
your father should suffer grievously ; and I pity your 
mpther quite as much as I do him. 

" As for Major Grantly, if he be such a man as I 
took him to be from the httle I saw of him, all this 
would make no difference to him. I am sure that it 
ought to make none. Whether it should not make a 
difference in you is another question. I think it should ; 
and I think your answer to him should be that you 
could not even consider any such proposition while 
your father was in so great trouble. I am so much 
older than you, and seem to have had so much experi- 
ence, that I do not scruple, as you will see, to come 
down upon you with all the weight of my wisdom. 

" About that other subject I had rather say nothing. 
I have known your cousin all my life, almost ; and I 
legard no one more kindly than I do him. When I 
think of my friends, he is always one of the dearest. 
But when one thinks of going beyond friendship, even 
if one tries to do so, there are so many barriers! 

" Your affectionate friend, 

"Lily Dale. 

" Mamma bids me say that she would be delighted 
to have you here whenever it might suit you to come ; 
and I add to this message my entreaty that you will 
come at once. You say that you think you ought to 
leave Miss Prettyman's for a while. I can well under- 
stand your feeling; but as your sister is with your 
mother, surely you had better come to us, — I mean 
quite at once. I will not scniple to tell you what 



VI 



68 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

mamma says, because I know your good sense. She 
says that as the interest of the school may possibly be 
concerned, and as you have no regular engagement, 
she thinks you ought to leave Silverbridge ; but she 
says that it will be better that you come to us than that 
you should go home. If you went home, people might 
say that you had left in some sort of disgrace. Come 
to us, and when all this has been put right, then you 
go back to Silverbridge ; and then, if a certain per- 
son speaks again, you can make a different answer. 
Mamma quite understands that you are to come ; so 
you have only got to ask your own mamma, and come 
at once." 

Tnis letter, as the reader will understand, did not 
reach Grace Crawley till after the all-important Thurs- 
day ; but before that day had come round, Grace had 
told Miss Prettyman, — ^had told both the Miss Pretty- 
mans, — that she was resolved to leave them. She had 
done this without even consulting her mother, driven 
to it by various motives. She knew that her father's 
conduct was being discussed by the girls in the school, 
and that things were said of him which it could not 
but be for the disadvantage of Miss Prettyman that 
any one should say of a teacher in her establishment. 
She felt, too, that she could not hold up her head in 
Silverbridge in these days, as it would become her to 
do if she retained her position. She did struggle gal- 
lantly, and succeeded much more nearly than she was 
herself aware. She was all but able to carry herself as 
though no terrible accusation was being made against 
her father. Of the struggle, however, she was not 
herself the less conscious, and she told herself that on 



GRACE CRAWLEY. 69 

that account also she must go. And then she must 
go also because of Major Grantly. Whether he was 
minded to come and speak to her that one other needed 
word, or whether he was not so minded, it would be 
better that she should be away from Silverbndge. If 
he spoke it she could only answer him by a negative ; 
and if he were minded not to speak it, would it not be 
better that she should leave herself the power of think- 
ing that his silence had been caused by her absence, 
and not by his coldness or indifference? 

She asked, therefore, for an interview with Miss 
Prettyman, and was shown into the elder sister's room, 
at eleven o'clock on the Tuesday morning. The elder 
Miss Prettyman never came into the school herself till 
twelve, but was in the habit of having interviews with 
the young ladies, — which were sometimes very awful 
in their nature, — ^for the two previous hours. During 
these interviews an immense amount of business was 
done, and the fortunes in life of some girls were said 
to have been there made or marred ; as when, for in- 
stance. Miss Crimpton had been advised to stay at 
home with her uncle in England, instead of going out 
with her sisters to India, both of which sisters were 
married within three months of their landing at Bom- 
bay. The way in which she gave her counsel on such 
occasions was very efficacious. No one knew better 
than Miss Prettyman that a cock can crow most effect- 
ively in his own farm-yard, and therefore aU crowing 
intended to be effective was done by her within the 
shrine of her own peculiar room. 

Well, my dear, what is it? " she said to Grace. 

Sit in the arm-chair, my dear, and we can then talk 
comfortably." The teachers, when they were closeted 



ft 



7© THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

with Miss Prettyman, were always asked to sit in the 
arm-chair, whereas a small, straight-backed, uneasy 
chair was kept for the use of the young ladies. And 
there was, too, a stool of repentance, out against the 
wall, very uncomfortable indeed for young ladies who 
had not behaved themselves so prettily as young ladies 
generally do. 

Grace seated herself, and then began her speech 
very quickly. " Miss Prettyman," she said, " I have 
made up my mind that I will go home, if you please." 

" And why should you go home, Grace? Did I not 
tell you that you should have a home here? " Miss 
Prettyman had weak eyes, and was very small, and 
had never possessed any claim to be called good-look- 
ing. And she assumed nothing of majestical awe from 
any adornment or studied amplification of the outward 
woman by means of impressive trappings. The pos- 
sessor of an unobservant eye might have called her a 
mean-looking little old woman. And certainly there 
would have been nothing awful in her to any one who 
came across her otherwise than as a lady having au- 
thority in her own school. But within her own pre- 
cincts, she did know how to surround herself with a 
dignity which all felt who approached her there. 
Grace Crawley, as she heard the simple question which 
Miss Prettyman had asked, unconsciously acknowl- 
edged the strength of the woman's manner. She 
already stood rebuked for having proposed a plan 
so ungracious, so unnecessary, and so imwise. 

" I think I ought to be with mamma at present," 
said Grace. 

" Your mother has your sister with her." 

" Yes, Miss Prettyman ; Jane is there." 



GRACE CRAWLEY. 7 1 



9t 



If there be no other reason, I cannot think that 
that can be held to be a reason now. Of course your 
mother would like to have you always; unless you 
should be married, — but then there are reasons why 
this should not be so." 

" Of course there are." 

" I do not think, — that is, if I know all that there 
is to be known, — I do not think, I say, that there can 
be any good ground for your leaving us now, — just 
now." 

Then Grace sat silent for a moment, gathering her 
courage, and collecting her words ; and after that she 
spoke. " It is because of papa, and because of this 
charge " 

" But, Grace " 

" I know what you are going to say, Miss Pretty- 
man ; — that is, I think I know." 

" If you will hear me, you may be sure that you 
know." 

" But I want you to hear me for one moment first. 
I beg your pardon, Miss Prettyman ; I do indeed, but 
I want to say this before you go on. I must go home, 
and I know I ought. We are all disgraced, and I 
won't stop here to disgrace the school. I know papa 
has done nothing wrong ; but nevertheless we are dis- 
graced. The police are to bring him in here on Thurs- 
day, and everybody in Silverbridge will know it. It 
cannot be right that I should be here teaching in the 
school, while it is all going on ; — and I won't. And, 
Miss Prettyman, I could n't do it, — ^indeed I could n't. 
I can't bring myself to think of anything I am doing. 
Indeed I can't ; and then, Miss Prettjonan, there are 
other reasons." By the time she had proceeded thus 






72 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

far, Grace Crawley's words were nearly choked by her 
tears. 

And what are the other reasons, Grace? " 
I don't know," said Grace, struggling to speak 
through her tears. 

"But I know," said Miss Prettyman. "I know 
them all. I know all your reasons, and I tell you that 
in my opinion you ought to remain where you are, and 
not go away. The very reasons which to you are 
reasons for your going, to me are reasons for your 
remaining here." 

" I can't remain. I am determined to go. I don't 
mind you and Miss Anne, but I can't bear to have the 
girls looking at me, and the servants." 

Then Miss Prettyman paused awhile, thinking what 
words of wisdom would be most appropriate in the 
present conjuncture. But words of wisdom did not 
seem to come easily to her, having for the moment 
been banished by tenderness of heart. " Come here, 
my love," she said at last. "Come here, Grace." 
Slowly Grace got up from her seat and came round, 
and stood by Miss Prettyman's elbow. Miss Pretty- 
man pushed her chair a little back, and pushed herself 
a little forward, and stretching out one hand, placed 
her arm round Grace's waist, and with the other took 
hold of Grace's hand, and thus drew her down and 
kissed the girl's forehead and lips. And then Grace 
found herself kneeling at her friend's feet. " Grace," 
she said, " do you not know that I love you? Do you 
not know that I love you dearly? " In answer to this, 
Grace kissed the withered hand she held in hers, while 
the warm tears trickled down upon Miss Prettyman's 
knuckles. " I love you as though you were my own," 



4( 



GRACB CRAWLEY. 73 

exclaimed the schoolmistress ; " and will you not trust 
me, that I know what is best for you? " 
I must go home," said Grace. 
Of course you shall, if you think it right at last; 
but let us talk of it. No one in this house, you know, 
has the slightest suspicion that your father has done 
anything that is in the least dishonourable." 

" I know that you have not." 

" No, nor has Anne." Miss Prettyman said this as 
though no one in that house beyond herself and her 
sister had a right to have any opinion on any subject. 

" I know that," said Grace. 

"Well, my dear. If we think so " 

" But the servants. Miss Prettyman? " 

" If any servant in this house says a word to offend 
you, I *ll— I 11 " 

" They don't say anything. Miss Prettyman, but they 
look. Indeed I 'd better go home. Indeed I had! " 

" Do not you think your mother has cares enough 
upon her, and burden enough, without having another 
mouth to feed, and another head to shelter? You 
have n't thought of that, Grace!*' 

" Yes, I have." 

" And as for the work, whilst you are not quite well 
you shall not be troubled with teaching. I have some 
old papers that want copying and settling, and you 
shall sit here and do that just for an employment. 
Anne knows that I *ve long wanted to have it done, 
and I 'D tell her that you Ve kindly promised to do it 
for me." 

"No; no; no," said Grace; "I must go home." 
She was still kneeling at Miss Prettyman's knee, and 
still holding Miss Prettyman's hand. And then, at 



74 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET, 

that moment, there came a tap at the door, gentle but 
yet not humble, a tap which acknowledged, on the part 
of the tapper, the supremacy in that room of the lady 
who was sitting there, but which still claimed admit- 
tance almost as a right. The tap was well known 
by both of them to be the tap of Miss Anne. Grace 
immediately jumped up, and Miss Prettjonan settled 
herself in her chair with a motion which almost 
seemed to indicate some feeling of shame as to her 
late position. 

"I suppose I may come in?" said Miss Anne, 
opening the door and inserting her head. 

" Yes, you may come in, — ^if you have anjrthing to 
say," said Miss Prettyman, with an air which seemed 
to be intended to assert her supremacy. But, in truth, 
she was simply collecting the wisdom and dignity which 
had been somewhat dissipated by her tenderness. 

" I did not know that Grace Crawley was here," said 
Miss Anne. 

" Grace Crawley is here," said Miss Prettyman. 

"What is the matter, Grace?" said Miss Anne, 
seeing the tears. 

Never mind now," said Miss Prettyman. 
Poor dear, I 'm siure I 'm sorry as though she were 
my own sister," said Anne. " But, Annabella, I want 
to speak to you especially." 
To me, in private ? " 
Yes, to you ; in private, if Grace won't mind." 

Then Grace prepared to go. But as she was going, 
Miss Anne, upon whose brow a heavy burden of 
thought was lying, stopped her suddenly. " Grace, my 
dear," she said, " go upstairs into your room, will you ? 
— ^not across the hall to the school." 






It 
if 



GRACE CRAWLEY. 75 

" And why should n't she go to the school ? " said 
Miss Prettyman. 

Miss Anne paused a moment, and then answered, — 
unwillingly, as though driven to make a reply which 
she knew to be indiscreet. " Because there is somebody 
in the haU." 

"Go to your room, dear," said Miss Prettyman. 
And Grace went to her room, never turning an eye 
down towards the hall. "Who is it?" said Miss 
Prettyman. 

"Major Grantly is here, asking to see you," said 
Miss Anne. 



CHAPTER VII. 

MISS prettyman's private room. 

Major Grantly, when threatened by his father 
with pecuniary punishment, should he demean himself 
by such a marriage as that he had proposed to himself, 
had declared that he would offer his hand to Miss 
Crawley on the next morning. This, however, he had 
not done. He had not done it, partly because he did 
not quite believe his father's threat, and partly because 
he felt that that threat was almost justified, — ^for the 
present moment, — ^by the circumstances in which Grace 
Crawley's father had placed himself. Henry Grantly 
acknowledged, as he drove himself home on the morn- 
ing after his dinner at the rectory, that in this matter 
of his marriage he did owe much to his family. Should 
he marry at all, he owed it to them to marry a lady. 
And Grace Crawley, — so he told himself, — ^was a lady. 
And he owed it to them to bring among them as his 
wife a woman who should not disgrace him or them 
by her education, manners, or even by her personal 
appearance. In all these respects Grace Crawley was, 
in his judgment, quite as good as they had a right to 
expect her to be, and in some respects a great deal 
superior to that type of womanhood with which they 
had been most generally conversant. " If everybody 
had her due, my sister is n't fit to hold a candle to her," 
he said to himself. It must be acknowledged, there- 

76 



MISS prettyman's private room. 77 

fore, that he was really in love with Grace Crawley. 
And he declared to himself, over and over again, that 
his family had no right to demand that he should marry 
a woman with money. The archdeacon's son by no 
means despised money. How could he, having come 
forth as a bird fledged from such a nest as the rectory 
at Plumstead Episcopi ? Before he had been brought 
by his better nature and true judgment to see that 
Grace Crawley was the greater woman of the two, he 
had nearly submitted himself to the twenty thousand 
pounds of Miss Emily Dunstable, — to that, and her 
good-humour and rosy freshness combined. But he 
regarded himself as the well-to-do son of a very rich 
father. His only child was amply provided for ; and 
he felt that, as regarded money, he had a right to do 
as he pleased. He felt this %vith double strength after 
his father's threat. 

But he had no right to make a marriage by which 
his family would be disgraced. Whether he was right 
or wrong in supposing that he would disgrace his fam- 
ily were he to marry the daughter of a convicted thief, 
it is hztrdly necessary to discuss here. He told himself 
that it would be so, — ^telling himself also that, by the 
stem laws of the world, the son and the daughter must 
pay for the offence of the father and the mother. 
Even among the poor, who would willingly marry the 
child of a man who had been hanged ? But he carried 
the argument beyond this, thinking much of the mat- 
ter, and endeavouring to think of it not only justly, 
but generously. If the accusation against Crawley 
were false, — if the man were being injured by an un- 
just charge,— even if he, Grantly, could make himself 
think that the girPs father had not stolen the money, 



78 THE LAST CHRONICLE OP BARSET. 

then he would dare everything and go on. I do not 
know that his argument was good, or that his mind 
was logical in the matter. He ought to have felt that 
his own judgment as to the man's guilt was less likely 
to be correct than that of those whose duty it was and 
would be to form and to express a judgment on the 
matter ; and as to Grace herself, she was equally in- 
nocent whether her father were guilty or not guilty. 
If he were to be debarred from asking her for her hand 
by his feelings for his father and mother, he should 
hardly have trusted to his own skill in ascertaining the 
real truth as to the alleged theft. But he was not 
logical, and thus, meaning to be generous, he became 
unjust. 

He found that among those in Silverbridge whom he 
presumed to be best informed on such matters, there 
was a growing opinion that Mr. Crawley had stolen 
the money. He was intimate with all the Walkers, 
and was able to find out that Mrs. Walker knew that 
her husband believed in the clergyman's guilt. He 
was by no means alone in his willingness to accept Mr. 
Walker's opinion as the true opinion. Silverbridge, 
generally, was endeavouring to dress itself in Mr. 
Walker's glass, and to believe as Mr. Walker believed. 
The ladies of Silverbridge, including the Miss Pretty- 
mans, were aware that Mr. Walker had been very kind 
both to Mr. and Mrs. Crawley, and argued from this 
that Mr. Walker must think the man to be innocent. 
But Henry Grantly, who did not dare to ask a direct 
question of the solicitor, went cunningly to work, and 
closeted himself with Mrs. Walker, — with Mrs. Walker, 
who knew well of the good fortune which was hovering 
over Grace's head and was so nearly settling itself upon 



MISS prettyman's private room. 79 

her shoulders. She would have given a finger to be 
able to whitewash Mr. Crawley in the major's estima- 
tion. Nor must it be supposed that she told the major 
in plain words that her husband had convinced himself 
of the man's guilt. In plain words no question was 
asked between them, and in plain words no opinion 
was expressed. But there was the look of sorrow in 
the woman's eye, there was the absence of reference to 
her husband's assurance that the man was innocent, 
there was the air of settled grief which told of her own 
conviction; — and the major left her, convinced that 
Mrs. Walker believed Mr. Crawley to be guilty. 

Then he went to Jarchester; not open-mouthed 
with inquiry, but rather with open ears, and it seemed 
to him that all men in Barchester were of one mind. 
There was a county-club in Barchester, and at this 
county-club nine men out of every ten were talking 
about Mr. Crawley. It was by no means necessary 
ihat a man should ask questions on the subject. 
Opinion was expressed so freely that no such asking 
was required ; and opinion in Barchester, — at any rate 
in the county-club, — seemed now to be all of one mind. 
There had been every disposition at first to believe 
Mr. Crawley to be innocent. He had been believed to 
be innocent, even after he had said wrongly that the 
cheque had been paid to him by Mr. Soames ; but he 
had since stated that he had received it from Dean 
Arabih, and that statement was also shown to be false. 
A man who has a cheque changed on his own behalf 
is bound at least to show where he got the cheque. 
Mr. Crawley had not only failed to do this, but had 
given two false excuses. Henry Grantly, as he drove 
home to Silverbridge on the Sunday afternoon, summed 



8o ' THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

up all the evidence in his own mind, and brought in a 
verdict of Guilty against the father of the girl whom he 
loved. 

On the following morning he walked into Silverbridge 
and called at Miss Prettyman*s house. As he went 
along his heart was warmer towards Grace than it had 
ever been before. He had told himself that he was 
now bound to abstain, for his father's sake, from doing 
that which he had told his father that he would cer- 
tainly do. But he knew also, that he had said that 
which, though it did not bind him to Miss Crawley, 
gave her a right to expect that he would so bind him- 
self. And Miss Prettyman could not but be aware of 
what his intention had been, and could not but expect 
that he should now be explicit. Had he been a wise 
man altogether, he would probably have abstained from 
saying anything at the present moment, — a wise man, 
that is, in the ways and feelings of the world in such 
matters. But, as there are men who will allow them- 
selves all imaginable latitude in their treatment of 
women, believing that the world will condone any 
amount of fault of that nature, so are there other men, 
and a class of men which on the whole is the more 
numerous of the two, who are tremblingly alive to the 
danger of censure on this head, — and to the danger of 
censure not only from others, but from themselves also. 
Major Grantly had done that which made him think 
it imperative upon him to do something further, and 
to do that something at once. 

Therefore he started off on the Monday morning 
after breakfast and walked to Silverbridge, and as he 
walked he built various castles in the air. Why should 
he not marry Grace, — ^if she would have him, — and 



MISS prettyman's private room. 8 1 

take her away beyond the reach of her father's calam- 
ity ? Why should he not throw over his own people 
altogether, money, position, society, and all, and give 
himself up to love ? Were he to do so, men might say 
that he was foolish, but no one could hint that he was 
dishonourable. His spirit was high enough to teach 
him to think that such conduct on his part would have 
in it something of magnificence; but, yet, such was 
not his purpose. In going to Miss Prettyman it was 
his intention to apologise for not doing this magnificent 
thing. His mind was quite made up. Nevertheless 
he built those castles in the air. 

It so happened that he encountered the younger 
Miss Prettyman in the hall. It would not at all have 
suited him to reveal to her the purport of his visit, or 
ask her either to assist his suit or to receive his apolo- 
gies. Miss Anne Prettyman was too common a per- 
sonage in the Silverbridge world to be fit for such em- 
ployment. Miss Anne Prettyman was, indeed, herself 
submissive to him, and treated him with the courtesy 
which is due to a superior being. He therefore simply 
asked her whether he could be allowed to see her sister. 

"Surely, Major Grantly; — that is, I think so. It 
is a little early, but I think she can receive you." 

" It is early, I know ; but as I want to say a word 
or two on business " 

" Oh, on business. I am sure she will see you on 
business ; she will only be too proud. If you will be 
kind enough to step in here for two minutes." Then 
Miss Anne, having deposited the major in the little 
parlour, .ran upstairs with her message to her sister. 
" Of course it 's about Grace Crawley," she said to 
herself as she went. " It can't be about anything else. 

VOL. 1. — d 



82 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

I wonder what it is he 's going to say. If he *s going 
to pop, and the father in all this trouble, he *s the finest 
fellow that ever trod." Such were her thoughts as she 
tapped at the door and announced in the presence of 
Grace that there was somebody in the hall. 

" It 's Major Grantly," whispered Anne, as soon as 
Grace had shut the door behind her. 

** So I supposed by your telling her not to go into 
the hall. What has he come to say ? " 

"How on earth can I tell you that, AnnabeUa? 
But I suppose he can have only one thing to say after 
all that has come and gone. He can only have come 
with one object." 

" He would n*t have come to me for that. He 
would have asked to see herself." 

" But she never goes out now, and he can't see her." 

*' Or he would have gone to them over at Hoggle- 
stock," said Miss Prettyman. " But of course he must 
come up now he is here. Would you mind telling 
him ; — or shall I ring the bell ? " 

" I '11 tell him. We need not make more fuss than 
necessary, with the servants, you know. I suppose 
I *d better not come back with him? " 

There was a tone of supplication in the younger sis- 
ter's voice as she made the last suggestion, which ought 
to have melted the heart of the elder ; but it was un- 
availing. "As he has asked to see me, I think you 
had better not," said AnnabeUa. Miss Anne Pretty- 
man bore her cross meekly, offered no argument on the 
subject, and returning to the little parlour where she 
had left the major, brought him upstairs and ushered 
him into her sister's room without even entering it 
again, herself. 



r 



MISS PR£TTYMAN'S PRIVATE ROOM. 83 

Major Grantly was as intimately acquainted with 
Miss Anne Prettyman as a man under thirty may well 
be with a lady nearer fifty than forty, who is not spe- 
cially connected with him by any family tie; but of 
Miss Prettyman he knew personally very much less. 
Miss Prettyman, as has before been said, did not go 
out, and was therefore not common to the eyes of the 
Silverbridgians. She did occasionally see her friends 
in her own house, and Grace Crawley's lover, as the 
major had come to be called, l\ad been there on more 
than one occasion ; but of real personal intimacy be- 
tween them there had hitherto existed none. He 
might have spoken, perhaps, a dozen words to her in 
his life. He had now more than a dozen to speak to 
her, but he hardly knew how to commence them. 

She had got up and curtseyed, and had then taken 
his hand and asked him to sit down. "My sister 
tells me that you want to see me," she said, in her 
softest, mildest voice. 

" I do. Miss Prettjonan. I want to speak to you 
about a matter that troubles me very much, — ^very 
much indeed." 

*' Anything that I can do. Major Grantly " 

*' Thank you, yes. I know that you are very good, 
or I should not have ventured to come to you. In- 
deed I should n't trouble you now, of course, if it was 
only about myself. I know very well what a great 
friend you are to Miss Crawley." 

Yes, I am. We love Grace dearly here." 
So do I," said the major, bluntly; "I love her 
dearly, too." Then he paused, as though he thought 
that Miss Prettyman ought to take up the speech. 
But Miss Prettyman seemed to think differently, and 



it 



84 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSd&T. 

he was obliged to go on. "I don't know whether 
you have ever heard about it, or noticed it, or— or — 

or " He felt that he was very awkward, and he 

blushed. Major as he was, he blushed as he sat be- 
fore the old woman, trying to tell his story, but not 
knowing how to tell it. " The truth is. Miss Pretty- 
man, I have done all but ask her to be my wife, and 
now has come this terrible affair about her father." 

"It is a terrible affair. Major Grantly; — ^very 
terrible." 

" By Jove, you may say that! " 

" Of course Mr. Crawley is as innocent in the matter 
as you or I are." 

" You think so. Miss Prettyman ? " 

" Think so 1 I feel quite sure of it. What, a clergy- 
man of the Church of England, a pious, hard-working 
country clergyman, whom we have known among us 
by his good works for years, suddenly turn thief, and 
pilfer a few pounds ! It is not possible. Major Grantly. 
And the father of such a daughter, too! It is not 
possible. It may do for men of business to think so, 
lawyers and such like, who are obliged to think in ac- 
cordance with the evidence, as they call it ; but to my 
mind the idea is monstrous. I don't know how he got 
it, and I don't care ; but I 'm quite sure he did not 
steal it. Who ever heard of anybody becoming so 
base as that all at once ? " 

The major was startled by her eloquence, and by 
the indignant tone of voice in which it was expressed. 
It seemed to tell him that she would give him no sym- 
pathy in that which he had come to say to her, and 
that she was prepared to upbraid him already in that 
he was not prepared to do the magnificent thing of 



MISS prettyman's private room. 85 

which he had thought when he had been building his 
castles in the air. Why should he not do the magnifi- 
cent thing ? Miss Prettyman's eloquence was so strong 
that it half convinced him that the Barchester Club and 
Mr. Walker had come to a wrong conclusion after all. 

" And how does Miss Crawley bear it ? " he asked, 
desirous of postponing for a while any declaration of 
his own purpose. 

"She is very unhappy, of course. Not that she 
thinks evil of her father." 

" Of course she does not think him guilty ? " 

''Nobody thinks him so in this house, Major 
Grantly," said the little woman, very imperiously. 
" But Grace is, naturally enough, very sad ; — ^very sad 
indeed. I do not think I can ask you to see her to- 
day." 

'' I was not thinking of it," said the major. 

"Poor, dear girl! it is a great trial for her. Do you 
wish me to give her any message, Major Grantly ? " 

The moment had now come in which he must say 
that which he had come to say. The little woman 
waited for an answer, and as he was there, within her 
power as it were, he must speak. I fear that what he 
said will not be approved by any strong-minded reader. 
I fear that our lover will henceforth be considered by 
such a one as being but a weak, wishy-washy man, 
who had hardly any mind of his own to speak of ; — 
that he was a man of no account, as the poor people 
say. " Miss Prettyman, what message ought I to send 
to her ? " he said. 

"Nay, Major Grantly, how can I tell you that? 
How can I put words into your mouth ? " 

" It is n't the words," he said ; " but the feelings." 



/ 

..>• 



€( 



86 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" And how can I tell the feelings of your heart ? ** 

" Oh, as for that, I know what my feeUngs are. I 
do love her with all my heart ; — I do, indeed. A fort- 
night ago I was only thinking whether she would accept 
me when I asked her, — wondering whether I was too 
old for her, and whether she would mind having Edith 
to take care of." 

She is very fond of Edith, — very fond indeed." 
Is she ? " said the major, more distracted than 
ever. Why should he not do the magnificent thing 
after all ? " But it is a great charge for a yoimg girl 
when she marries." 

" It is a great charge ; — a very great charge. It is 
for you to think whether you should entrust so great a 
charge to one so young." 

" I have no fear about that at all." 

"Nor should I have any, — ^as you ask me. We 
have known Grace well, thoroughly, and are quite sure 
that she will do her duty in that state of life to which 
it may please God to call her." 

The major was aware when this was said to him that 
he had not come to Miss Prettyman for a character of 
the girl he loved ; and yet he was not angry at receiv- 
ing it. He was neither angry, nor even indifferent. 
He accepted the character almost gratefully, though 
he felt that he was being led away from his purpose. 
He consoled himself for this, however, by remembering 
that the path by which Miss Prettyman was now lead- 
ing him, led to the magnificent, and to those pleasant 
castles in the air which he had been building as he 
walked into Silverbridge. " I am quite sure that she 
is all that you say," he repKed. " Indeed, I had made 
up my mind about that long ago." 



MISS prettyman's private room. 87 



4< 



And what can I do for you, Major Grantly ? " 
You think I ought not to see her ? " 

" I will ask herself, if you please. I have such trust 
in her judgment that I should leave her altgether to 
her own discretion." 

The magnificent thing must be done, and the major 
made up his mind accordingly. Something of regret 
came over his spirit as he thought of a father-in-law 
disgraced and degraded, and of his own father broken- 
hearted. But now there was hardly an alternative left 
to him. And was it not the manly thing for him to 
do ? He had loved the girl before this trouble had 
come upon her, and was he not bound to accept the 
burden which his love had brought with it ? "I will 
see her," he said, " at once, if you will let me, and ask 
her to be my wife. But I must see her alone." 

Then Miss Prettyman paused. Hitherto she had 
undoubtedly been playing her fish cautiously, or rather 
her young friend's fish, — ^perhaps I may say cunningly. 
She had descended to artifice on behalf of the girl 
whom she loved, admired, and pitied. She had seen 
some way into the man's mind, and had been partly 
aware of his purpose,— of his infirmity of purpose, of 
his double purpose. She had perceived that a word 
from her might help Grace's chance, and had led the 
man on till he had committed himself, at any rate to 
her. In doing this she had been actuated by friend- 
ship rather than by abstract principle. But now, when 
the moment had come in which she must decide upon 
some action, she paused. Was it right, for the sake 
of either of them, that an offer of marriage should be 
made at such a moment as this? It might be very 
well, in regard to some future time, that the major 



88 THE I-AST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

should have so committed himself. She saw something 
of the nian's spirit, and beheved that, having gone so 
far, having so far told his love, he would return to his 
love hereafter, let the result of the Crawley trial be 
what it might. But, — ^but, this could be no proper 
time for love-making. Though Grace loved the man, 
as Miss Prettyman knew well, — though Grace loved 
the child, having allowed herself to long to call it her 
own, — though such a marriage would be the making 
of Grace's fortune as those who loved her could hardly 
have hoped that it should ever hav^ been made, she 
would certainly refuse the man if he were to propose 
to her now. She would refuse him, and then the man 
would be free ; — ^free to change his mind if he thought 
fit. Considering all these things, craftily in the exer- 
cise of her friendship, too cunningly, I fear, to satisfy 
the claims of a high morality, she resolved that the 
major had better not see Miss Crawley at the present 
moment. Miss Prettyman paused before she replied, 
and, when she did speak, Major Grantly had risen 
from his chair and was standing with his back to the 
fire. " Major Grantly," she said, " you shall see her if 
you please, and if she pleases ; but I doubt whether 
her answer at such a moment as this would be that 
which you would wish to receive." 

" You think she would refuse me." 

"I do not think that she would accept you now. 
She would feel, — I am sure she would feel, that these 
hours of her father's sorrow are not hours in which love 
should be either offered or accepted. You shall, how- 
ever, see her if you please." 

The major allowed himself a moment for thought ; 
and as he thought he sighed. Grace Crawley became 



it 
it 
tl 



MISS prettyman's private room. 89 

more beautiful in his eyes than ever, was endowed by 
these words from Miss Prettyman with new charms 
and brighter virtues than he had seen before. Let 
come what might he would ask her to be his wife 
on some future day, if he did not so ask her now. 
For the present, perhaps, he had better be guided by 
Miss Prettyman. " Then I will not see her," he said. 
" I think that will be the wiser course." 
"Of course you knew before this that I— loved 
her? " 

I thought so. Major Grantly." 

And that I intended to ask her to be my wife? " 

Well ; since you put the question to me so plainly, 
I must confess that as Grace's friend I should not 
quite have let things go on as they have gone, — though 
I am not at all disposed to interfere with any girl 
wh< on I believe to be pure and good as I know her to 
be,-— but still I should hardly have been justified in 
letting things go as they have gone, if I had not be 
lievjd that such was your purpose." 

" I wanted to set myself right with you. Miss 
Pre rtyman." 

" You are right with me — quite right ; " and she got 
up and gave him her hand. " You are a fine, noble- 
hearted gentleman, iind I hope that our Grace may 
livv to be your happy wife, and the mother of your 
dailing child, and the mother of other children. I do 
not see how a woman could have a happier lot in life." 

And will you give Grace my love? " 

I will tell her at any rate that you have been here, 
and that you have inquired after her with the great- 
est kindness. She will understand what that means 
without any word of love." 






90 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" Can I do anything for her, — or for her father ; I 
mean in the way of — ^money ? I don't mind mentioning 
it to yon, Miss Prettyman." 

" I will tell her that you are to do it, if anything can 
be done. For myself I feel no doubt that the mystery 
will be cleared up at last ; and then, if you will come 
here, we shall be so glad to see you ; — I shall, at least." 

Then the major went, and Miss Prettyman herself 
actually descended with him into the hall, and bade 
him farewell most affectionately before her sister and 
two of the maids who came out to open the door. 
Miss Anne Prettyman, when she saw the great friend- 
ship with which the major was dismissed, could not 
contain herself, but asked most impudent questions, 
in a whisper indeed, but in such a whisper that any 
sharp-eared maid-servant could hear and understand 
them. " Is it settled," she asked, when her sister had 
ascended only the first flight of stairs; — "has he 
popped ? " The look with which the elder sister pun- 
ished and dismayed the younger, I would not have 
borne for twenty pounds. She simply looked, and said 
nothing, but passed on. When she had regained her 
room she rang the bell, and desired the servant to ask 
Miss Crawley to be good enough to step to her. Poor 
Miss Anne retired discomfited into the solitude of one 
of the lower rooms, and sat for some minutes all alone, 
recovering from the shock of her sister's anger. "At 
any rate he has n't popped," she said to herself, as she 
made her way back to the school. 

After that Miss Prettyman and Miss Crawley were 
closeted together for about an hour. What passed 
between them need not be repeated here word for 
word ; but it may be imderstood that Miss Prettyman 



MISS prettyman's private room. 91 

said no more than she ought to have said, and that 
Grace understood all that she ought to have under- 
stood. " No man ever behaved with more consider- 
ate friendship, or more like a gentleman/' said Miss 
Prettyman. 

" I am sure he is very good, and I am so glad he 
did not ask to see me," said Grace. Then Grace went 
away, and Miss Prettyman sat awhile in thought, con- 
sidering what she had done, not without some stings of 
conscience. 

Major Grantly, as he walked home, was not alto- 
gether satisfied with himself, though he gave himself 
credit for some diplomacy which I do not think he 
deserved. He felt that Miss Prettyman and the world 
in general, should the world in general ever hear any- 
thing about it, would give him credit for having be- 
haved well ; and that he had obtained this credit with- 
out conmiitting himself to the necessity of marrying the 
daughter of a thief, should things turn out badly in 
regard to the father. But, — and this but robbed him 
of all the pleasure which comes from real success, — 
but he had not treated Grace Crawley with the perfect 
generosity which love owes, and he was in some degree 
ashamed of himself. He felt, however, that he might 
probably have Grace, should he choose to ask for her 
when this trouble should have passed by. "And I 
will," he said to himself, as he entered the gate of his 
own paddock, and saw his child in her perambulator 
before the nurse. "And I will ask her, sooner or later, 
let things go as they may." Then he took the peram- 
bulator under his own charge for half-an-hour, to the 
satisfaction of the nurse, of the child, and of himself. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

MR. CRAWLEY IS TAKEN TO SILVERBRIDGE. 

It had become necessary on the Monday morning 
that Mrs. Crawley should obtain from her husband an 
undertaking that he would present himself before the 
magistrates at Silverbridge on the Thursday. She had 
been made to understand that the magistrates were 
sinning against the strict rule of the law in not issuing 
a warrant at once for Mr. Crawley's apprehension; 
and that they were so sinning at the instance of Mr. 
Walker, — at whose instance they would have commit- 
ted almost any sin practicable by a board of English 
magistrates, so great was their faith in him ; and she 
knew that she was bound to answer her engagement. 
She had also another task to perform — that, namely, 
of persuading him to employ an attorney for his de- 
fence ; and she was prepared with the name of an at- 
torney, one Mr. Mason, also of Silverbridge, who had 
been recommended to her by Mr. Walker* But when 
she came to the performance of these two tasks on the 
Monday morning, she found that she was unable to 
accomplish either of them. Mr. Crawley first declared 
that he would have nothing to do with any attorney. 
As to that he seemed to have made up his mind before- 
hand, and she saw at once that she had no hope of 
shaking him. But when she found that he was equally 
obstinate in the other matter, and that he declared that 

92 



MR. CRAWLEY IS TAKEN TO SILVERBRIDGE. 93 

he would not go before the magistrates unless he were 
made to do so, — unless the policeman came and fetched 
him, then she almost sank beneath the burden of her 
troubles, and for a while was disposed to let things go 
as thev would. 

On the Sunday the poor man had exerted himself to 
get through his Sunday duties, and he had succeeded. 
He had succeeded so well that his wife had thought 
that things might yet come right with him, that he 
would remember, before it was too late, the true history 
of that unhappy bit of paper, and that he was rising 
above that half-madness which for months past had 
afflicted him. On the Sunday evening, when he was 
tired with his work, she thought it best to say nothing 
to him about the magistrates and the business of Thurs- 
day. But on the Monday morning she commenced 
her task, feeling that she owed it to Mr. Walker to lose 
no more time. He was very decided in his manners, 
and made her understand that he would employ no 
lawyer on his own behalf. "Why should I want a 
lawyer? I have done nothing wrong," he said. Then 
she tried to make him understand that many who may 
have done nothing wrong require a lawyer's aid. "And 
who is to pay him? " he asked. To this she replied, 
unfortunately, that there would be no need of thinking 
of that at once. "And I am to get further into debt! " 
he said. " I am to put myself right before the world 
by incurring debts which I know I can never pay? 
When it has been a question of food for the children I 
have been weak, but I will not be weak in such a mat- 
ter as this. I will have no lawyer." She did not re- 
gard this denial on his part as very material, though 
she would fain have followed Mr. Walker's advice had 



94 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

she been able ; but when, later in the day, he declared 
that the police should fetch him, then her spirit gave 
way. Early in the morning he seemed to assent to the 
expediency of going into Silverbridge on the Thursday, 
and it was not till after he had worked himself into a 
rage about the proposed attorney that he utterly re- 
fused to make the journey. During the whole day, 
however, his state was such as almost to break his 
wife's heart. He would do nothing. He would not 
go to the school, nor even stir beyond the house-door. 
He would not open a book. He would not eat, nor 
would he even sit at table or say the accustomed grace 
when the scanty midday meal was placed upon the 
table. " Nothing is blessed to me," he said, when his 
wife pressed him to say the words for their child's sake. 
"Shall I say that I thank God when my heart is 
thankless? Shall I serve my child by a lie? " Then 
for hours he sat in the same position, in the old arm- 
chair, hanging over the fire speechless, sleepless, think- 
ing ever, as she well knew, of the injustice of the world. 
She hardly dared to speak to him, so great was the 
bitterness of his words when he was goaded to reply. 
At last, late in the evening, feeling that it would be her 
duty to send in to Mr. Walker early on the following 
morning, she laid her hand gently on his shoulder and 
asked him for his promise. " I may tell Mr. Walker 
that you will be there on Thursday? " 

" No," tie said, shouting at her. " No. I will have 
no such message sent." She started back, trembling. 
Not that she was accustomed to tremble at his ways, 
or to show that she feared him in his paroxysms, but 
that his voice had been louder than she had before 
known it. "I will hold no intercourse with them 



MR. CRAWLEY IS TAKEN TO SILVERBRIDGE. 95 

at Silverbridge in this matter. Do you hear me, 
Mary?" 

" I hear you, Josiah ; but I must keep my word to 
Mr. Walker. I promised that I would send to him." 

" Tell him, then, that I will not stir a foot out of 
this house on Thursday of my own accord. On 
Thursday I shall be here ; and here I will remain all 
day, — ^unless they take me hence by force." 

" But, Josiah " 

" Will you obey me, or shall I walk into Silverbridge 
myself and tell the man that I will not come to him? " 
Then he arose from his chair and stretched forth his 
hand to his hat as though he was going forth immedi- 
ately, on his way to Silverbridge. The night was now 
pitch dark, and the rain was falling, and abroad he 
would encounter all the severity of the pitiless winter. 
Still it might have been better that he should have 
gone. The exercise and the fresh air, even the wet 
and the mud, would have served to bring back his 
mind to reason. But his wife thought of the misery 
of the journey, of his scanty clothing, of his worn 
boots, of the need there was to preserve the raiment 
which he wore ; and she remembered that he was fast- 
ing, — ^that he had eaten nothing since the morning, and 
that he was not fit to be alone. She stopped him, 
therefore, before he could reach the door. 

"Your bidding shall be done," she said, — "of 
course." ^ 

" Tell them, then, that they must seek me here if 
they want me." 

"But, Josiah, think of the parish,— of the people 
who respect you. For their sakes let it not be said 
that you were taken away by policemen." 



96 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

"Was St. Paul not bound in prison? Did he think 
of what the people might see? " 

"If it were necessary, I would encourage you to 
bear it without a murmur." 

" It is necessary, whether you murmur, or do not 
murmur. Murmur, indeed! Why does not your 
voice ascend to heaven with one loud wail against the 
cruelty of man? " Then he went forth from the room 
into an empty chamber on the other side of the pas- 
sage ; and his wife, when she followed him there after 
a few minutes, found him on his knees, with his fore- 
head against the floor, and with his hands clutching at 
the scanty hairs of his head. Often before had she 
seen him so, on the same spot, half grovelling, half 
prostrate in prayer, reviling in his agony all things 
around him, — ^nay, nearly all things above him, — ^and 
yet striving to reconcile himself to his Creator by the 
humiliation of confession. 

It might be better with him now if only he could 
bring himself to some softness of heart. Softly she 
closed the door, and placing the candle on the mantel- 
shelf, softly she knelt beside him, and softly touched 
his hands with hers. He did not stir nor utter a word, 
but seemed to clutch at his thin locks more violently 
than before. Then she kneeling there,, aloud, but with 
low voice, with her thin hands clasped, uttered a prayer 
in which she asked her God to remove from her hus- 
band the bitterness of that hour. He listened till she 
had finished, and then he rose slowly to his feet. " It 
is in vain," said he. " It is all in vain. It is all in 
vain." Then he returned back to the parlour, and 
seating himself again in the arm-chair, remained there 
without speaking till past midnight. At last, when 



MR. CRAWLEY IS TAKEN TO SILVERBRIDGE. gf 

she told him that she herself was very cold, and re- 
minded him that for the last hour there had been no 
fire, still speechless, he went up with her to their bed. 

Early on the following morning she contrived to let 
him know that she was about to send a neighbour's 
son over with a note to Mr. Walker, fearing to lu-ge 
him further to change his mind ; but hoping that he 
might express his purpose of doing so when he heard 
that the letter was to be sent ; but he took no notice 
whatever of her words. At this moment he was. read- 
ing Greek with his daughter, or rather rebuking her 
because she could not be induced to read Greek. 

"Oh, papa," the poor girl said, "don*t scold me 
now. I am so unhappy because of all this." 

" And am not I unhappy? " he said, as he closed the 
book. " My God, what have I done against thee, that 
my Hnes should be cast in such terrible places? " 

The letter was sent to Mr. Walker. "He knows 
himself to be innocent," said the poor wife, writing 
what best excuse she knew how to make, " and thinks 
that he should take no step himself in such a matter. 
He will not employ a lawyer, and he says that he 
should prefer that he should be sent for, if the law re- 
quires his presence at Silverbridge on Thursday." All 
this she wrote, as though she felt that she ought to 
employ a high tone in defending her husband's pur- 
pose ; but she broke down altogether in the few words 
of the postscript : " Indeed, indeed I have done what 
I could!" Mr. Walker understood it all, both the 
high tone and the subsequent fall. 

On the Thursday morning, at about ten o'clock, a 
fly stopped at the gate of the Flogglestock Parsonage, 
and out of it there came two men. One was dressed 

VOL. I. — T 



gS THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

in ordinary black clothes, and seemed from his bearing 
to be a respectable man of the middle class of life. 
He was, however, the superintendent of police for the 
Silverbridge district. The other man was a policeman, 
pure and simple, with the helmet-looking hat and all 
the ordinary half-military and wholly disagreeable out- 
ward adjimcts of the profession. " Wilkins," said the 
superintendent, "hkely enough I shall. want you, for 
they tell me the gent is uncommon strange. But if I 
don't call you when I come out, just open the door like 
a servant, and mount up on the box when we 're in. 
And don't speak nor say nothing." Then the senior 
policeman entered the house. 

He found Mrs. Crawley sitting in the parlour with 
her bonnet and shawl on, and Mr. Crawley in the arm- 
chair, leaning over the fire. " I suppose we had better 
go with you," said Mrs. Crawley directly the door was 
opened ; for of course she had seen the arrival of the 
fly from the window. 

" The gentleman had better come with us, if he '11 
be so kind," said Thompson. " I 've brought a close 
carriage for him." 

" But I may go with him ? " said the wife, with 
frightened voice. "I may accompany my husband. 
He is not well, sir, and wants assistance." 

Thompson thought about it for a moment before he 
spoke. There was room in the fly for only two, or if 
for three, still he knew his place better than to thrust 
himself inside together with his prisoner and his pris- 
oner's wife. He had been specially asked by Mr. 
Walker to be very civil. Only one could sit on the 
box with the driver, and if the request was conceded 
the poor policeman must walk back. The walk, how- 



n 
it 



MR. CRAWLEY IS TAKEN TO SILVERBRIDGE. 99 

ever, would not kill the policeman. "All right, 
ma*am," said Thompson ; — " that is, if the gentleman 
will just pass his word not to get out till I ask him." 
He. will not! He will not!" said Mrs. Crawley. 
I will pass my word for nothing," said Mr. 
Crawley. 

Upon hearing this, Thompson assumed a very long 
face, and shook his head as he turned his eyes first 
towards the husband and then towards the wife, and 
shrugged his shoulders, and compressing his lips, blew 
out his breath, as though in this way he might blow off 
some of the mingled sorrow and indignation with which 
the gentleman's words afflicted him. 

Mrs. Crawley rose and came close to him. " You 
may take my word for it, he will not stir. You may 
indeed. He thinks it incumbent on him not to give 
any undertaking himself, because he feels himself to 
be so harshly used." 

" I don't know about harshness," said Thompson, 
brindling up. "A close carriage brought and " 

" I will walk. If I am made to go, I will walk," 
shouted Mr. Crawley. 

" I did not allude to you,— or to Mr. Walker," said 
the poor wife. " I know you have been most kind. I 
meant the harshness of the circumstances. Of course 
he is innocent, and you must feel for him." 

" Yes, I feel for him, and for you too, ma'am." 

"That is all I meant. He knows his own inno- 
cence, and therefore he is imwilling to give way in 
anything." 

" Of course he knows hisself, that 's certain. But 
he 'd better come in the carriage if only because of the 
dirt and slush." 



lOO THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" He will go in the carriage ; and I will go with him. 
There will be room there for you, sir." 

Thompson looked up at the rain, and told himself 
that it was very cold. Then he remembered Mr. 
Walker's injunction, and bethought himself that Mrs. 
Crawley, in spite of her poverty, was a lady. He 
conceived even unconsciously the idea that something 
was due to her because of her poverty. " I '11 go with 
the driver," said he, " but he '11 only give hisself a deal 
of trouble if he attempts to get out." 

"He won't; he won't," said Mrs. Crawley. "And 
I thank you with all my heart." 

" Come along, then," said Thompson. 

She went up to her husband, hat in hand, and, look- 
ing round to see that she was not watched, put the 
hat on his head, and then lifted him as it were from 
his chair. He did not refuse to be led, and allowing 
her to throw round his shoulders the old cloak which 
was hanging in the passage, he passed out, and was 
the first to seat himself in the Silverbridge fly. His 
wife followed him, and did not hear the blandishments 
with which Thompson instructed his myrmidon to fol- 
low through the mud on foot. Slowly they made their 
way through the lanes, and it was nearly twelve when 
the fly was driven into the yard of the George and 
Vulture at Silverbridge. 

Silverbridge, though it was blessed with a mayor and 
corporation, and was blessed also with a Member of 
Parliament all to itself, was not blessed with any court- 
house. The magistrates were therefore compelled to 
sit in the big room at the George and Vulture, in which 
the county balls were celebrated, and the meeting of 
the West Barsetshire freemasons was held. That part 



it 

€1 



MR. CRAWLEY IS TAKEN TO SILVERBRIDGE. lOI 

of the country was, no doubt, very much ashamed of 
its backwardness in this respect, but as yet nothing had 
been done to remedy the evil. Thompson and his fly 
were therefore driven into the yard of the Inn, and 
Mr. and Mrs. Crawley were ushered by him up into 
a litde bed-chamber close adjoining to the big room 
in which the magistrates were already assembled. 
" There 's a bit of fire here," said Thompson, " and 
you can make yourselves a little warm." He himself 
was shivering with the cold. "When the gents is 
ready in there, I *11 just come and fetch you." 

I may go in with him? " said Mrs. Crawley. 

I '11 have a chair for you at the end of the table, 
just nigh to him," said Thompson. "You can slip 
into it and say nothing to nobody." Then he left 
them and went away to the magistrates. 

Mr. Crawley had not spoken a word since he had 
entered the vehicle. Nor had she said much to him, 
but had sat with him holding his hand in hers. Now 
he spoke to her, — "Where is it that we are?" he 
asked. 

At Silverbridge, dearest." 

But what is this chamber? And why are we here ? " 

We are to wait here till the magistrates are ready. 
They are in the next room." 
"But this is the Inn?" 

Yes, dear, it is the Inn." 

And I see crowds of people about." There were 
orowds of people about. There had been men in the 
yard, and others standing about on the stairs, and the 
public room was full of men who were ciuious to see 
the clergyman who had stolen twenty pounds, and to 
hear what would be the result of the case before the 



n 
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It 

44 



ft 



1 02 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

magistrates. He must be committed; so, at least, 
said everybody ; but then there would be the question 
of bail. Would the magistrates let him out on bail, 
and who would be the bailmen? " Why are the peo- 
ple here? " said Mr. Crawley. 

" I suppose it is the custom when the magistrates 
are sitting," said his wife. 

"They have come to see the degradation of a 
clergyman," said he ; — " and they will not be disap- 
pointed." 

Nothing can degrade but guilt," said his wife. 
Yes, — ^misfortune can degrade, and poverty. A 
man is degraded when the cares of the world press so 
heavily upon him that he cannot rouse himself. They 
have come to look at me as though I were a hunted 
beast." 

" It is but their custom always on such days." 

" They have not always a clergyman before them as 
a criminal." Then he was silent for a while, while she 
was chafing his cold hands. "Would that I were 
dead, before they had brought me to this! Would 
that I were dead!" 

"Is it not right, dear, that we should all bear what 
He sends us? " 

"Would that I were dead!" he repeated. "The 
load is too heavy for me to bear, and I would that I 
were dead!" 

The time seemed to be very long before Thompson 
returned and asked them to accompany him into the 
big room. When he did so, Mr. Crawley grasped hold 
of his chair as though he had resolved that he would 
not go. But his wife whispered a word to him, and 
he obeyed her. " He will follow me," she said to the 



MR. CRAWLEY IS TAKEN TO SILVERBRIDGE. IO3 

policeman. And in that way they went from the small 
room into the large one. Thompson went first ; Mrs. 
Crawley with her veil down came next; and the 
wretched man followed his wife, with his eyes fixed 
upon the ground and his hands clasped together upon 
his breast. He could at first have seen nothing, and 
could hardly have known where he was when they 
placed him in a chair. She, with a better courage, 
contrived to look round through her veil, and saw that 
there was a long board or table covered with green 
cloth, and that six or seven gentlemen were sitting at 
one end of it, while there seemed to be a crowd stand- 
ing along the sides and about the room. Her husband 
was seated at the other end of the table, near the cor- 
ner, and round the comer, — so that she might be close 
to him, — ^her chair had been placed. On the other 
side of him there was another chair, now empty, in- 
tended for any professional gentleman whom he might 
choose to employ. 

There were five magistrates sitting there. Lord 
Lufton, from Framley, was in the chair ; — a handsome 
man, still young, who was very popular in the county. 
The cheque which had been cashed had borne his sig- 
nature, and he'had consequently expressed his intention 
of not sitting at the board ; but Mr. Walker, desirous 
of having him there, had overruled him, showing him 
that the loss was not his loss. The cheque, if stolen, 
had not been stolen from him. He was not the prose- 
cutor. " No, by Jove," said Lord Lufton ; " if I could 
quash the whole thing, I 'd do it at once ! " 

" You can't do that, my lord, but you may help us 
at the board," said Mr. Walker. 

Then there was the Hon, George De Courcy, Lord 



104 '^^^ ^^^'^ CHRONICLE OP BAFSET. 

De CouTcy's brother, from Castle Courcy. Lord De 
Courcy did not live in the county, but his brother did 
so, and endeavoured to maintain the glory of the fam- 
ily by the discretion of his conduct. He was not, per- 
haps, among the wisest of men, but he did very well 
as a country magistrate, holding his tongue, keeping 
his eyes open, and, on such occasions as this, obeying 
Mr. Walker in all things. Dr. Tempest was also there, 
the rector of the parish, he being both magistrate and 
clergyman. There were many in Silverbridge who 
declared that Dr. Tempest would have done far better 
to stay away when a brother clergyman was thus to be 
brought before the bench ; but it had been long since 
Dr. Tempest .had cared what was said about him in 
Silverbridge. He had become so accustomed to the 
life he led as to like to be disliked, and to be en- 
amoured of unpopularity. So when Mr. Walker had 
ventured to suggest to him that, perhaps, he might not 
choose to be there, he had laughed Mr. Walker to 
scorn. " Of course I shall be there," he said. " I am 
interested in the case, — ^very much interested. Of 
course I shall be there." And had not Lord Lufton 
been present he would have made himself more con- 
spicuous by taking the chair. Mr. Fothergill was the 
fourth. Mr. Fothergill was m&n of business to the 
Duke of Omnium, who was the great owner of property 
in and about Silverbridge, and he was the most active 
magistrate in that part of the county. He was a sharp 
man, and not at all likely to have any predisposition 
in favour of a clergyman. The fifth was Dr. Thome, 
of Chaldicotes, a gentleman whose name has been 
already mentioned in these pages. He had been for 
many years a medical man practising in a little village 



MR. CRAWLEY IS TAKEN TO SILVERBRIDGE. 10$ 

in the further end of the county ; but it had come to 
be his fate, late in life, to marry a great heiress, with 
whose money the ancient house and domain of Chaldi- 
cotes had been purchased from the Sowerbys. Since 
then Dr. Thome had done his duty well as a country 
gentleman, — not, however, without some litde want of 
smoothness between him and the duke's people. 

Chaldicotes lay next to the duke's territory, and the 
duke had wished to buy Chaldicotes. When Chaldi- 
cotes slipped through the duke's fingers and went into 
the hands of Dr. Thome,— or of Dr. Thome's wife, — 
the duke had been very angry with Mr. Fothergill. 
Hence it had come to pass that there had not always 
been smoothness between the duke's people and the 
Chaldicotes people. It was now rumoured that Dr. 
Thome intended to stand for the county on the next 
vacancy, and that did not tend to make things 
smoother. On the right hand of Lord Lufton sat Lord 
George and Mr. Fothergill, and beyond Mr. Fothergill 
sat Mr. Walker, and beyond Mr. Walker sat Mr. 
Walker's clerk. On the left hand of the chairman 
were Dr. Tempest and Dr. Thome, and a little lower 
down was Mr. Zachary Winthrop, who held the situa- 
tion of clerk to the magistrates. Many people in Sil- 
verbridge said that this was all wrong, as Mr. Winthrop 
was partner with Mr. Walker, who was always em- 
ployed before the magistrates if there was any employ- 
ment going for an attorney. For this, however, Mr. 
Walker cared very little. He had so much of his own 
way in Silverbridge, that he was supposed to care 
nothing for anybody. 

There were many other gentlemen in the room, and 
some who knew Mr. Crawley with more or less inti' 



I06 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

macy. He, however, took notice of no one, and when 
one friend, who had really known him well, came up 
behind and spoke to him gently leaning over his chair, 
the poor man hardly recognised his friend. 

" I 'm sure your husband won't forget me," said Mr, 
Robarts, the clergyman of Framley, as he gave his 
hand to that lady across the back of Mr. Crawley's 
chair. 

"No, Mr. Robarts, he does not forget you. But 
you must excuse him if at this moment he is not quite 
himself. It is a trying situation for a clergyman." 

" I can understand all that ; but I '11 tell you why 
I have come. I suppose this inquiry will finish the 
whole affair and clear up whatever may be the diffi- 
culty. But should it not do so, it may be just possible, 
Mrs. Crawley, that something may be said about bail. 
I don't understand much about it, and I dare say you 
do not either ; but if there should be anything of that 
sort, let Mr. Crawley name me. A brother clergyman 
will be best, and I '11 have some other gentleman with 
me." Then he left her, not waiting for any answer. 

At the same time there was a conversation going on 
between Mr. Walker and another attorney standing 
behind him, Mr. Mason. " I '11 go to him," said 
Walker, "and try to arrange it." So Mr. Walker 
seated himself in the empty chair beside Mr. Crawley, 
and endeavoured to explain to the wretched man, that 
he would do well to allow Mr. Mason to assist him. 
Mr. Crawley seemed to listen to all that was said, and 
then turned upon the speaker sharply : " I will have no 
one to assist me," he said, so loudly that every one in 
the room heard the words. " I am innocent. Why 
should I want assistance? Nor have I money to pay 



MR. CRAWLEY IS TAKEN TO SILVERBRIDGE. I07 

for it." Mr. Mason made a quick movement forward, 
intending to explain that that consideration need offer 
no impediment, but was stopped by further speech 
from Mr. Crawley. " I will have no one to help me," 
said he, standing upright, and for the first time remov- 
ing his hat from his head. " Go on, and do what it is 
you have to do." After that he did not sit down till 
the proceedings were nearly over, though he was in- 
vited more than once by Lord Lufton to do so. 

We need not go through all the evidence that was 
brought to bear upon the question. It was proved 
that money for the cheque was paid to Mr. Crawley's 
messenger, and that this money was given to Mr. 
Crawley. When there occurred some little delay in 
the chain of evidence necessary to show that Mr. 
Crawley had signed and sent the cheque and got the 
money, he became impatient. " Why do you trouble 
the man? " he said. " I had the cheque, and I sent 
him. I got the money. Has any one denied it, that 
you should strive to drive a poor man like that beyond 
his wits? " Then Mr. Soames and the manager of the 
bank showed what inquiry had been made as soon as 
the cheque came back from the London bank ; how 
at first they had both thought that Mr. Crawley could 
of course explain the matter, and how he had explained 
it by a statement which was manifestly untrue. Then 
there was evidence to prove that the cheque could not 
have been paid to him by Mr. Soames, and as this was 
given, Mr. Crawley shook his head and again became 
impatient. "I erred in that," he exclaimed. "Of 
course I erred. In my haste I thought it was so, and 
in my haste I said so. I am not good at reckoning 
money and remembering siuns. But I saw that I had 



Io8 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

been wrong when my error was shown to me, and I 
acknowledged at once that I had been wrong." 

Up to this point he had behaved not only with so 
much spirit, but with so much reason, that his wife 
began to hope that the importance of the occasion had 
brought back the clearness of his mind, and that he 
would, even now, be able to place himself right as the 
inquiry went on. Then it was explained that Mr. 
Crawley had stated that the cheque had been given to 
him by Dean Arabin, as soon as it was shown that it 
could not have been given to him by Mr. Soames. In 
reference to this, Mr. Walker was obliged to explain 
that application had been made to the dean, who was 
abroad, and that the dean had stated that he had given 
fifty pomids to his friend. Mr. Walker explained also 
that the very notes of which this fifty pounds had con* 
sisted had been traced back to Mr. Crawley, and that 
they had had no connection with the cheque or with 
the money which had been given for the cheque at the 
bank. 

Mr. Soames stated that he had lost the cheque with 
a pocket-book ; that he had certainly lost it on the day 
on which he had called on Mr. Crawley at Hoggle- 
stock; and that he missed his pocket-book on his 
journey back from Hogglestock to Barchester. At the 
moment of missing it he remembered that he had taken 
the book out from his pocket in Mr. Crawley's room, 
and at that moment he had not doubted but that he 
had left it in Mr. Crawley's house. He had written 
and sent to Mr. Crawley to inquire, but had been as- 
sured that nothing had been fond. There had been 
no other property of value in the pocket-book, — noth- 
ing but a few visiting-cards and a memorandum, and 



MR. CRAWLEY IS TAKEN TO SILVERBRIDGE. IO9 

he had therefore stopped the cheque at the London 
bank, and thought no more about it. 

Mr. Crawley was then asked to explain in what way 
he came possessed of the cheque. The question was 
first put by Lord Lufton; but it soon fell into Mr. 
Walker's hands, who certainly asked it with all the 
kindness with which such an inquiry could be made. 
Could Mr. Crawley at all remember by what means 
that bit of paper had come into his possession, or how 
long he had had it? He answered the last question 
first. " It had been with him for months." And why 
had he kept it? He looked round the room sternly, 
almost savagely, before he answered, fixing his eyes 
for a moment upon almost every face around him as 
he did so. Then he spoke. " I was driven by shame 
to keep it ; — and then by shame to use it." That this 
statement was true, no one in the room doubted. 

And then the other question was pressed upon him ; 
and he lifted up his hands, and raised his voice, and 
swore by the Saviour in whom he trusted, that he knew 
not from whence the money had come to him. Why, 
then, had he said that it had come from the dean? 
He had thought so. The dean had given him money, 
covered up, in an enclosure, " so that the touch of the 
coin might not add to my disgrace in taking his alms," 
said the wretched man, thus speaking openly and freely 
in his agony of the shame which he had striven so per- 
sistently to hide. He had not seen the dean's moneys 
as they had been given, and he had thought that the 
cheque had been with them. Beyond that he could 
tell them nothing. 

Then there was a conference between the magistrates 
and Mr. Walker, in which Mr. Walker submitted that 



no THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

the magistrates had no alternative but to commit the 
gentleman. To this Lord Lufton demurred, and with 
him Dr. Thome. 

" I believe, as I am sitting here," said Lord Lufton, 
" that he has told the truth, and that he does not know 
any more than I do from whence the cheque came." 

" I am quite sure he does not," said Dr. Thome. 

Lord George remarked that it was the " queerest go 
he had ever come across." Dr. Tempest merely shook 
his head. Mr. Fothergill pointed out that even sup- 
posing the gentleman's statement to be true, it by no 
means went towards establishing the gentleman's inno- 
cence. The cheque had been traced to the gentle- 
man's hands, and the gentleman was bound to show 
how it had come into his possession. Even supposing 
that the gentleman had found the cheque in his house, 
which was likely enough, he was not thereby justified in 
changing it, and applpng the proceeds to his own pur- 
poses. Mr. Walker told them that Mr. Fothergill was 
right, and that the only excuse to be made for Mr. 
Crawley was that he was out of his senses. 

" I don't see it," said Lord Lufton. " I might have 
a lot of paper money by me, and not know from Adam 
where I got it." 

" But you would have to show where you got it, 
my lord, when inquiry was made," said Mr. Fothergill. 

Lord Lufton, who was not particularly fond of Mr. 
Fothergill, and was very unwilling to be instructed by 
him in any of the duties of a magistrate, turned his 
back at once upon the duke's agent ; but within three 
minutes afterwards he had submitted to the same 
instmctions from Mr. Walker. 

Mr. Crawley had again seated himself, and during 



MR. CRAWLEY IS TAKEN TO SILVERBRIDGE. Ill 

this period of the affair was leaning over the table with 
his face buried on his arms. Mrs. Crawley sat by his 
side, utteriy impotent as to any assistance, just touch- 
ing him with her hand, and waiting behind her veil till 
she should be made to understand what was the de- 
cision of the magistrates. This was at last commimi- 
cated to her, — and to him, — in a whisper by Mr. 
Walker. Mr. Crawley must understand that he was 
committed to take his trial at Barchester, at the next 
assizes, which would be held in April, but that bail 
would be taken ; — his own bail in five hundred pounds, 
and that of two others in two hundred and fifty pounds 
each. And Mr. Walker explained" further that he and 
the bailmen were ready, and that the bail-bond was 
prepared. The bailmen were to be the Rev. Mr. 
Robarts and Major Grantly. In five minutes the bond 
was signed and Mr. Crawley was at liberty to go away, 
a free man, — till the Barchester Assizes should come 
roimd in April. 

Of all that was going on at this time Mr. Crawley 
knew little or nothing, and Mrs. Crawley did not know 
much. She did say a word of thanks to Mr. Robarts, 
and begged that the same might be said to — the other 
gentleman. If she had heard the major's name she 
did not remember it. Then they were led out back 
into the bedroom, where Mrs. Walker was found, 
anxious to do something, if she only knew what, to 
comfort the wretched husband and the wretched wife. 
But what comfort or consolation could there be within 
their reach? There was tea made ready for them, and 
sandwiches cut from the Inn larder. And there was 
sherry in the Iim decanter. But no such comfort as 
that was possible for either of them. 



113 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

They were taken home again in the fly, returning 
without the escort of Mr. Thompson, and as they 
went some few words were spoken by Mrs. Crawley. 
" Josiah," she said, *' there will be a way out of this, 
even yet, if you will only hold up your head and trust." 

" There is a way out of it," he said. " There is a 
way. There is but one way." When he had so 
spoken she said no more, but resolved that her eye 
should never be off him, no, — ^not for a moment. 
Then, when she had gotten him once more into that 
front parlour, she threw her arms round him and kissed 
him. 






CHAPTER IX. 

GRACE CRAWLEY GOES TO ALLINGTON. 

The tidings of what had been done by the magis- 
trates at their pejfety sessions was communicated the 
same night to Grace Crawley by Miss Prettyman. 
Miss Anne Prettyman had heard the news within five 
minutes of the execution of the bail-bond, and had 
rushed to her sister with information as to the event. 
"They have found him guilty; they have, indeed. 
They have convicted him, — or whatever it is, because 
he could n*t say where he got it." " You do not mean 
that they have sent him to prison? " " No ; — not to 
prison ; not as yet, that is. I don't understand it alto- 
gether ; but he 's to be tried at the assizes. In the 
mean time he 's to be out on bail. Major Grantly is 
to be the bail, — ^he and Mr. Robarts. That, I think, 
was very nice of him." It was undoubtedly the fact 
that Miss Anne Prettyman had received an accession 
of pleasurable emotion when she learned that Mr. 
Crawley had not been sent away scathless, but had 
been condemned, as it were, to a public trial at the 
assizes. And yet she would have done anything in her 
power to save Grace Crawley, or even to save her 
father. And it must be explained that Miss Anne 
Prettyman was supposed to be specially efficient in 
teaching Roman history to her pupils, although she 

YOL.I. — 8 113 



il4 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

was so manifestly ignorant of the course of law in the 
country in which she lived. *' Committed him," said 
Miss Prettyman, correcting her sister with scorn. 
" They have not convicted him. Had they convicted 
him, there could be no question of bail." " I don't 
know how all that is, Annabella, but at any rate Major 
Grantly is to be the bailman, and there is to be another 
trial at Barchester." " There cannot be more than one 
trial in a criminal case," said Miss Prettyman, " unless 
the jury should disagree, or something of that kind. 
I suppose he has been committed, and that the trial 
will take place at the assizes." " Exactly ; — that 's just 
it." Had Lord Lufton appeared as praetor, and had 
Thompson walked before him as lictor, carrying the 
fasces. Miss Anne would have known more about it. 

The sad tidings were not told to Grace till the even- 
ing. Mrs. Crawley, when the inquiry was over before 
the magistrates, would fain have had herself driven to 
the Miss Prettymans* school that she might see her 
daughter ; but she felt that to be iinpossible while her 
husband was in her charge. The father would of 
course have gone to his child, had the visit been sug- 
gested to him ; but that would have caused another 
terrible scene ; and the mother, considering it all in her 
mind, thought it better to abstain. Miss Prettyman 
did her best to make poor Grace think that the affair 
had gone so far favourably, — did her best, that is, With- 
out saying anything which her conscience told her to 
be false. " It is to be settied at the assizes in April,** 
she said. 

" And in the mean time what will become of papa? '* 

"Your papa will be at home, just as usual. He 

must have some one to advise him. I dare say it 






GRACE CRAWLEY GOES TO ALLINGTON. X15 

would have been all over now if he would have 
employed an attorney." 

'' But it seems so hard that an attorney should be 
wanted." 

My dear Grace, things in this world are hard." 
But they were always harder for papa and mamma 
than for anybody else." In answer to this, Miss 
Prettyman made some remarks intended to be wise and 
kind at the saune time. Grace, whose eyes were laden 
with tears, made no immediate reply to this, but re- 
verted to h^ former statement, that she must go home. 
*' I cannot remain. Miss Prettyman ; I am so unhappy." 

" Will you be more happy at home? " 

" I can bear it better there." 

The poor girl soon learned from the intended con- 
solations of those around her, from the ill-considered 
kindnesses of the pupils, and from words which fell 
from the servants, that her father had in fact been 
judged to be guilty as far as judgment had as yet gone. 
" They do say, miss, it *s only because he had n't a 
lawyer," said the housekeeper. And if men so kind as 
Lord Lufton and Mr. Walker had made him out to 
be guilty, what could be expected from a stem judge 
down from London, who would know nothing about 
h^ poor father and his peculiarities, and from twelve 
jurymen who would be shopkeepers out of Barchester? 
It would kill her father, and then it would kill her 
mother; and after that it would kill her also. And 
there was no money in the house at home. She knew 
it well. She had been paid three pounds a month for 
her services at the school, and the money for the last 
two months had been sent to her mother. Yet, badly 
as she wanted anything that she might be able to earn* 



Il6 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAR9KT. 

she knew that she could not go on teaching. It had 
come to be acknowledged by both the Miss Pretty- 
mans that any teaching on her part for the present was 
impossible. She would go home and perish with the 
rest of them. There was no room left for hope to her, 
or to any of her family. They had accused her father 
of being a common thief, — her father whom she knew 
to be so nobly honest, her father whom she believed 
to be among the most devoted of God's servants! 
He was accused of a paltry theft, and the magistrates 
and lawyers and policemen among them had decided 
that the accusation was true! How could she look 
the girls in the face after that, or attempt to hold her 
own among the teachers! 

On the next morning there came the letter frona 
Miss Lily Dale, and with that in her hand she again 
went to Miss Prettyman. She must go home, she said. 
She must at any rate see her mother. Could Miss 
Prettyman be kind enough to send her home? "I 
have n't sixpence to pay for anything," she said, burst- 
ing out into tears ; "and I have n't a right to ask for it" 
Then the statements which Miss Prettyman made in 
her eagerness to cover this latter misfortune were de- 
cidedly false. There was so much money owing to 
Grace, she said; money for this, money for that, 
money for anything or nothing! Ten poimds would 
hardly clear the account. " Nobody owes me any- 
thing ; but if you *11 lend me five shiUings! " said Grace 
in her agony. Miss Prettyman, as she made her way 
through this difficulty, thought of Major Grantly and 
his love. It would have been of no use, she knew. 
Had she brought them together on that Monday, 
Grace would have said nothing to him. Indeed, such 



GRACE CRAWLEY GOES TO ALLINGTON. 117 

a meeting at such a time would have been improper. 
But, regarding Major Grantly, as she did, in the light 
of a millionaire, — for the wealth of the archdeacon 
was notorious, — ^she could not but think it a pity that 
poor Grace should be begging for five shillings. " You 
need not at any rate trouble yourself about money, 
Grace," said Miss Prettyman. " What is a pound or 
two more or less between you and me? It is almost 
unkind of you to think about it. Is that letter in your 
hand anything for me to see, my dear? " Then Grace 
explained that she did not wish to show Miss Dale's 
letter, but that Miss Dale had asked her to go to 
Allington. "And you will go," said Miss Prettyman. 
" It will be the best thing for you, and the best thing 
for your mother." 

It was at last decided that Grace should go to her 
friend at Allington, and to Allington she went. She 
returned home for a day or two, and was persuaded 
by her mother to accept the invitation that had been 
given her. At Hogglestock, while she was there, new 
troubles came up, of which something shall shortly be 
told ; but they were troubles in which Grace could give 
no assistance to her mother, and which, indeed, though 
they were in truth troubles, as will be seen, were so far 
beneficent that they stirred her father up to a certain 
action which was in itself salutary. " I think it will be 
better that you should be away, dearest," said the 
mother, who now, for the first time, heard plainly all 
that poor Grace had to tell about Major Grantly ; — 
Grace having, heretofore, barely spoken, in most am- 
biguous words, of Major Grantly as a gentleman whom 
she had met at Framley and whom she had described 
as being " very nice." 



Il8 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

In old days, long ago, Lucy Robarts, the present 
Lady Lufton, sister of the Reverend Mark Robarts the 
parson of Framley, had sojourned for a while under 
Mr. Crawley's roof at Hogglestock. Peculiar circum- 
stanceSy which need not, perhaps, be told here, had 
given occasion for this visit. She had then resolved, 
— for her future destiny had been known to her before 
she left Mrs. Crawley's house, — that she would in 
coming days do much to befriend the family of her 
friend ; but the doing of much had been very difficult. 
And the doing of anything had come to be very diffi- 
cult through a certain indiscretion on Lord Lufton's 
part. Lord Lufton had offered assistance, pecuniary 
assistance, to Mr. Crawley, which Mr. Crawley had re- 
jected with outspoken anger. What was Lord Lufton 
to him that his lordship should dare to come to him 
with his paltry money in his hand? But after a while. 
Lady Lufton, exercising some cunning in the operations 
of her friendship, had persuaded her sister-in-law at the 
Framley parsonage to have Grace Crawley over there 
as a visitor, — ^and there she had been during the sum- 
mer holidays previous to the commencement of our 
story. And there, at Framley, she had become ac- 
quainted with Major Grantly, who was staying with 
Lord Lufton at Framley Court. She had then said 
something to her mother about Major Grantly, some- 
thing ambiguous, something about his being "very 
nice," and the mother had thought how great was the 
pity that her daughter, who was " nice " too in her esti- 
mation, should have so few of those adjuncts to assist 
her which come from full pockets. She had thought 
no more about it then ; but now she felt herself con- 
strained to think more. "I don't quite understand 



ft 
it 

€i 
it 



tt 
it 



U 

tt 
tt 



GRACE CRAWLEY GOES TO ALLINGTON. II9 

why he should have come to Miss Prettyman on Mon- 
day," said Grace, '^ because he hardly knows her at 
aU.'" 

I suppose it was on business,'' said Mrs. Crawley. 

No, mamma, it was not on business." 

How can you tell, dear? ** 

Because Miss Prettyman said it was, — ^it was — to 
ask after me. Oh, mamma, I must tell you. I know 
be did like me." 

Did he ever say so to you, dearest? " 

Yes, mamma." 
" And what did you tell him? " 

I told him nothing, mamma." 

And did he ask to see you on Monday? " 

No, mamma; I don't think he did. I think he 
understood it all too well, for I could not have spoken 
to him then." 

Mrs. Crawley pursued the cross-examination no 
fiuther, but made up her mind that it would be better 
that her girl should be away from her wretched home 
during this period of her Ufe. If it were written in the 
book of fate that one of her children should be ex- 
empted from the series of misfortunes which seemed 
to fall, one after another, almost as a matter of course, 
upon her husband, upon her, and upon her family ; — 
if so great good fortune were in store for her Grace as 
such a marriage as this which seemed to be so nearly 
offered to her, it might probably be well that Grace 
should be as little at home as possible. Mrs. Crawley 
had heard nothing but good of Major Grantly ; but 
she knew that the Grantlys were proud rich people, — 
who lived with their heads high up in the county, — 
and it coiild hardly be that a son of the archdeacon 



I20 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

would like to take his bride direct from Hogglestock 
Parsonage. 

It was settled that Grace should go to Allington as 
soon as a letter could be received from Miss Dale in 
return to Grace's note, and on the third morning after 
her arrival at home she started. None but they who 
have themselves been poor gentry, — gentry so poor as 
not to know how to raise a shilling, — can understand 
the peculiar bitterness of the trials which such poverty 
produces. The poverty of the normal poor does not 
approach it ; or, rather, the pangs arising from such 
poverty are altogether of a different sort. To be hungry 
and have no food, to be cold and have no fuel, to be 
threatened with distraint for one's few chairs and 
tables, and with the loss of the roof over one's head, — 
all these miseries, which, if they do not positively reach, 
are so frequently near to reaching the normal poor, 
are, no doubt, the severest of the trials to which hu- 
manity is subjected. They threaten life,— or, if not 
life, then liberty, — ^reducing the abject one to a choice 
between captivity and starvation. By hook or crook, 
the poor gentleman or poor lady, — let the one or the 
other be ever so poor, — does not often come to the 
last extremity of the workhouse. There are such cases, 
but they are exceptional. Mrs. Crawley, through all 
her sufferings, had never yet found her cupboard to 
be absolutely bare, or the bread-pan to be actually 
empty. But there are pangs to which, at the time, 
starvation itself would seem to be preferable. The 
angry eyes of unpaid tradesmen, savage with an anger 
which one knows to be justifiable ; the taunt of the 
poor servant who wants her wages ; the gradual relin- 
quishment of habits which the soft nurture of earlier, 



GRACE CRAWLEY GOES TO ALLINGTON. 121 

kinder years had made second nature ; the wan cheeks 
of the wife whose malady demands wine ; the rags of 
the husband whose outward occupations demand de- 
cency ; the neglected children, who are learning not 
to be the children of gentlefolk ; and, worse than all, 
the alms and doles of half -generous friends, the waning 
pride, the pride that will not wane, the growing doubt 
whether it be not better to bow the head, and acknowl- 
edge to all the world that nothing of the pride of station 
is left, — that the hand is open to receive and ready to 
touch the cap, that the fall from the upper to the lower 
level has been accomphshed, — these are the pangs of 
poverty which drive the Crawleys of the world to the 
frequent entertaining of that idea of the bare bodkin. 
It was settled that Grace should go to AUington ; — ^but 
how about her clothes? And then, whence was to 
come the price of her journey ? 

" I don't think they '11 mind about my being shabby 
at Allington. They live very quietly there." 

'' But you say that Miss Dale is so very nice in all 
her ways." 

" Lily is very nice, mamma ; but I shan't mind her 
so much as her mother, because she knows it all. I 
have told her everything." 

" But you have given me all your money, dearest." 

" Miss Prettyman told me I was to come to her," 
said Grace, who had already taken some small sum 
from the schoolmistress, which at once had gone into 
her mother's pocket, and into household purposes. 
" She said I should be sure to go to Allington, and 
that of course I should go to her, as I must pass 
through Silverbridge." 

" I hope papa will not ask about it," said Mrs. 



I as THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Crawley. Luckily papa did not ask about it, being at 
the moment occupied much with other thoughts and 
other troubles, and Grace was allowed to return by 
Silverbridge, and to take what was needed from Miss 
Prettyman. Who can tell of the mending and patch- 
ing, of the weary wearing midnight hours of needle- 
work which were accomplished before the poor girl 
went, so that she might not reach her friend's house 
in actual rags ? And when the work was ended, what 
was there to show for it ? I do not think that the idea of 
the bare bodkin, as regarded herself, ever flitted across 
Mrs. Crawley's brain, — she being one of those who are 
very strong to endure ; but it must have occurred to 
her very often that the repose of the grave is sweet, and 
that there cometh after death a levelling and making 
even of things, which would at last cure all her evils. 

Grace no doubt looked forward to a levelling and 
making even of things, — or perhaps even to something 
more prosperous than that, which should come to her 
relief on this side of the grave. She could not but 
have high hopes in regard to her future destiny. Al- 
though, as has been said, she understood no more than 
she ought to have understood from Miss Prettyman's 
account of the conversation with Major Grantly, still, 
innocent as she was, she had understood much. She 
knew that the man loved her, and she knew also th^t 
she loved the man. She thoroughly comprehended 
that the present could be to her no time for listening to 
speeches of love, or for giving kind answers ; but still I 
think that she did look for relief on this side of the grave. 

" Tut, tut," said Mifes Prettyman as Grace in vain 
tried to conceal her tears up in the private sanctum. 
" You ought to know me by this time, and to have 



GRACE CRAWLEY GOES TO ALLINGTON. 1 23 

learned that I can understand things." The tears had 
flown in return not only for the five gold sovereigns 
which Miss Prettyman had pressed into her hand, but 
on account of the prettiest, soft, grey merino frock that 
ever charmed a girl's eye. " I should like to know 
how many girls I have given dresses to when they have 
been going out visiting. Law, my dear; they take 
them, many of them, from us old maids, almost as if 
we were only paying our debts in giving them." And 
then Miss Anne gave her a cloth cloak, very warm, 
with pretty buttons and gimp trimmings, — ^just such a 
cloak as any girl might like to wear who thought that 
she would be seen out walking by her Major Grantly 
on a Christmas morning. Grace Crawley did not ex- 
pect to be seen out walking by her Major Grantly, but 
nevertheless she liked the cloak. By the power of her 
practical will, and by her true sympathy, the elder Miss 
Prettyman had for a while conquered the annoyance 
which, on Grace's part, was attached to the receiving 
of gifts, by the consciousness of her poverty ; and 
when Miss Anne, with some pride in the tone of her 
voice, expressed a hope that Grace would think the 
cloak pretty, Grace put her arms pleasantiy round her 
friend's neck, and declared that it was very pretty, — 
the prettiest cloak in all the world ! 

Grace was met at the Guestwick railway-station by 
her friend Lilian Dale, and was driven over to AUing- 
ton in a pony carriage belonging to Lilian's uncle, the 
squire of the parish. ' I think she will be excused in 
having put on her new cloak, not so much because of 
the cold as with a view of making the best of herself 
before Mrs. Dale. And yet she knew that Mrs. Dale 
would know all the circumstances of her poverty, and 



124 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

was very glad that it should be so. " I am so glad that 
you have come, dear," said Lilyi " It will be such a 
comfort." 

" I am sure you are very good," said Grace. 

" And mamma is so glad. From the moment that 
we both talked ourselves into eagerness about it, — 
while I was writing my letter, you know, we resolved 
that it must be so." 

*' I 'm afraid I shall be a great trouble to Mrs. Dale." 

" A trouble to mamma! Indeed you will not. You 
shall be a trouble to no one but me. I will have all 
the trouble myself, and the labour I delight in shall 
physic my pain." 

Grace Crawley could not during the journey be at 
home and at ease even with her friend Lily. She was 
going to a strange house under strange circumstances. 
Her father had not indeed been tried and found guilty 
of theft, but the charge of theft had been made against 
him, and the magistrates before whom it had been made 
had thought that the charge was true. Grace knew 
that all the local newspapers had told the story, and 
was of course aware that Mrs. Dale would have heard 
it. Her own mind was full of it, and though she 
dreaded to speak of it, yet she could not be silent. 
Miss Dale, who understood much of this, endeavoured 
to talk her friend into easiness ; but she feared to be- 
gin upon the one subject, and before the drive was 
over they were, both of them, too cold for much con- 
versation. " There 's mamma," said Miss Dale as they 
drove up, turning out of the street of the village to the 
door of Mrs. Dale's house. " She always knows, by 
instinct, when I am coming. You must understand, 
now thai^ you are among us, that mamma and I are 



GRACE CRAWLEY GOES TO ALLINGTON. 1 25 

not mother and daughter, but two loving old ladies, 
living together in peace and harmony. We do have 
our quarrels, — whether the chicken shall be roast or 
boiled, but never anything beyond that. Mamma, 
here is Grace, starved to death ; and she says if you 
don't give her some tea she will go back at once." 

" I will give her some tea," said Mrs. Dale. 

" And I am worse than she is, because I Ve been 
driving. It 's all up with Bernard and Mr. Green for 
the next week at least. It is freezing as hard as it can 
freeze, and they might as well try to hunt in Lapland 
as here." 

"They '11 console themselves with skating," said 
Mrs. Dale. 

" Have you ever observed, Grace," said Miss Dale, 
" how much amusement gentlemen require, and how 
imperative it is that some other game should be pro- 
vided when one game fails ? " 

" Not particularly," said Grace. 

" Oh, but it is so. Now, with women, it is supposed 
that they can amuse themselves or live without amuse- 
ment. Once or twice in a year, perhaps, something is 
done for them. There is an arrow-shooting party, or 
a ball, or a picnic. But the catering for men's sport 
is never-ending, and is always paramount to everything 
else. And yet the pet game of the day never goes off 
properly. In partridge time, the partridges are wild, 
and won't come to be killed. In hunting time the 
foxes won't run straight, — the wretches. They show 
no spirit, and will take to ground to save their brushes. 
Then comes a nipping frost, and skating is proclaimed ; 
but the ice is always rough, and the woodcocks have 
deserted the coimtry. And as for salmon! When the 



126 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

summer comes round I do really believe that they 
suffer a great deal about the salmon. I 'm sure they 
never catch any. So they go back to their clubs, and 
their cards, and their billiards, and abuse their cooks 
and blackball their friends. That 's about it, mamma ; 
is it not ? " 

" You know more about it than I do, my dear." 

" Because I have to listen to Bernard, as you never 
will do. We 've got such a Mr. Green down here, 
Grace. He 's such a duck of a man, — ^such top-boots 
and all the rest of it. And yet they whisper to me that 
he does n*t ride always to hoimds. And to see him 
play billiards is beautiful, only he never can make a 
stroke. I hope you play billiards, Grace, because 
uncle Christopher has just had a new table put up." 
I never saw a billiard-table yet," said Grace. 
Then Mr. Green shall teach you. He 11 do any- 
thing that you ask him. If you don't approve the 
colour of the ball, he '11 go to London at once to get 
you another one. Only you must be very careful 
about saying that you like anything before him, as 
he '11 be sure to have it for you the next day. Mamma 
happened to say that she wanted a fourpenny postage- 
stamp, and he walked off to Guestwick to get it for her 
instantly, although it was lunch-time." 

" He did nothing of the kind, Lily," said her mother. 
'* He was going to Guestwick, and was very good- 
natured, and brought me back a postage-stamp that I 
wanted." 

" Of course he 's good-natured ; I know that. And 
there 's my cousin Bernard. He 's Captain Dale, you 
know. But he prefers to be called Mr. Dale, because 
he has left the army, and has set up as junior squire 



ft 



it 
it 



GRACE CRAWLEY GOES TO ALLINGTON. 1 27 

of the parish. Uncle Christopher is the real squire ; 
only Bernard does all the work. And now you know 
all about us. I 'm afraid you '11 find us dull enough, 
— unless you can take a fancy to Mr. Green." 
** Does Mr. Green live here ? " asked Grace. 
" No ; he does not live here. I never heard of his 
Kving anywhere. He was something once, but I don't 
know what ; and I don't think he 's anything now in 
particular. But he 's Bernard's friend, and like most 
men, as one sees them, he never has much to do. 
Does Major Grantly ever go forth to fight his country's 
battles ? " This last question she asked in a low whis- 
per, so that the words did not reach her mother. Grace 
blushed up to her eyes, however, as she answered, — 
I think that Major Grantly has left the army." 
We shall get her round in a day or two, mamma," 
said Lily Dale to her mother that night. " I *m sure 
it will be the best thing to force her to talk of her 
troubles." 

I would not use too much force, my dear.*' 
Things are better when they 're talked about. 
I 'm sure they are. And it will be good to make her 
accustomed to speak of Major Grantly. From what 
Mary Walker tells me, he certainly means it. And if 
so, she should be ready for it when it comes." 

" Do hot make her ready fot* what may never come." 
" No, mamma ; but she is at present such a child 
that she knows nothing of her own powers. She should 
be made to understand that it is possible that even a 
Major Grantly may think hhnself fortunate in being 
allowed to love her." 

" I should leave all that to Nature, if I were you," 
said Mrs. Dale. 






CHAPTER X. 

DINNER AT FRAMLEY COURT. 

Lord Lufton, as he drove home to Framley after 
the meeting of the magistrates at Silverbridge, discussed 
the matter with his brother-in-law, Mark Robarts, the 
clergyman. Lord Lufton was driving a dog-cart, and 
went along the road at the rate of twelve miles an 
hour. " I '11 tell you what it is, Mark," he said, " that 
man is innocent ; but if he won't employ lawyers at 
his trial, the jury will find him guilty." 

" I don't know what to think about it," said the 
clerg)rman. 

" Were you in the room when he protested so vehe- 
mently that he did n*t know where he got the money ? " 

" I was in the room all the time." 
And did you not believe him when he said that ? " 
Yes,— I think I did." 

Anybody must have believed him,— except old 
Tempest, who never believes anybody, and Fothergill, 
who always suspects everybody. The truth is, that he 
had found the cheque and put it by, and did not re- 
member anything about it." 

" But, Lufton, surely that would amount to steal- 
ing it." 

" Yes, if it was n't that he is such a poor, cracked, 

crazy creature, with his mind all abroad. I think 

128 



it 
it 
tt 



DINNER AT FRAMLEY COURT. 129 

Soames did drop his book in his house. I *m sure 
Soames would not say so unless he was quite confident. 
Somebody has picked it up, and in some way the 
cheque has got into Crawley's hand. Then he has 
locked it up and has forgotten all about it ; and when 
that butcher threatened him, he has put his hand upon 
it, and he has thought, or believed, that it had come 
from Soames or from the dean,^-or from heaven, if 
you will. When a man Is so crazy as that, you can't 
judge of him as you do of others." 

"But a jury must judge of him as it would of 
others." 

" And therefore there should be a lawyer to tell the 
jury what to do. They should have somebody up out 
of the parish to show that he is beside himself half his 
time. His wife would be the best person, only it would 
be hard lines on her." 

" Very hard. And after all he would only escape 
by being shown to be toad.'* 

" And he is mad." 

" Mrs. Proudie would come upon him in such a case 
as that, and sequester his living." 

" And what will Mrs. Proudie do when he 's a con- 
victed thief ? Simply unfrock him, and take away his 
living altogether. Nothing on earth should induce me 
to find him guilty if I were on a jury." 

" But you have committed him." 

" Yes, — I 've been one, at least, in doing so. I 
simply did what Walker told us we must do. A mag- 
istrate is not left to himself as a juryman is. I 'd eat 
the biggest pair of boots in Barchester before I found 
him guilty. I say, Mark, you must talk it over with 

the women, and see what can be done for them. Lucy 
VOL. I. — 9 



130 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

tells me that they *re so poor, that if they have bread 
to eat, it 's as much as they have." 

On this evening Archdeacon Grantly and his wife 
dined and slept at Framley Court, there having been 
a very long family friendship between old Lady Luf- 
ton and the Grantlys, and Dr. Thome, with his wife, 
from Chaldicotes, also dined at Framley. There was 
also there another clergyman from Barchester, Mr. 
Champion, one of the prebendaries of the cathedral. 
There were only three now who had houses in the city 
since the retrenchments of the Ecclesiastical Commis- 
sion had come into full force. And this Mr. Champion 
was dear to the Dowager Lady Lufton, because he 
carried on worthily the clerical war against the bishop 
which had raged in Barsetshire ever since Dr. Proudie 
had come there, — ^which war old Lady Lufton, good 
and pious and charitable as she was, considered that 
she was bound to keep up, even to the knife, till Dr. 
Proudie and all his satellites should have been banished 
into outer darkness. As the light of the Proudies still 
shone brightly, it was probable that poor old Lady 
Lufton might die before her battle was accomplished. 
She often said that it would be so, but when so saying, 
always expressed a wish that the fight might be carried 
on after her death. " I shall never, never rest in my 
grave," she had once said to the archdeacon, " while 
that woman sits in your father's palace." For the 
archdeacon's father had been Bishop of Barchester be- 
fore Dr. Proudie. What mode of getting rid of the 
bishop or his wife Lady Lufton proposed to herself, I 
am unable to say ; but I think she lived in hopes that 
in some way it might be done. If only the bishop 
could have been found to have stolen a cheque for 



DINNER AT FRAMLEY COURT. I31 

twenty pounds instead of poor Mr. Crawley, Lady 
Lufton would, I think, have been satisfied. 

In the course of these battles Framley Court would 
sometimes assume a clerical aspect, — have a prevail- 
ing hue, as it were, of black coats, which was not alto- 
gether to the taste of Lord Lufton, and as to which 
he would make complaint to his wife, and to Mark 
Robarts, himself a clergyman. " There 's more of this 
than I can stand," he 'd say to the latter. ** There 's 
a deuced deal more of it than you like yourself, I 
know." 

" It 's not for me to like or dishke. It 's a great 
thing having your mother in the parish." 

" That 's all very well ; and of coiu^e she *11 do as 
she likes. She may ask whom she pleases here, and I 
shan't interfere. It *s the same as though it was her 
own house. But I shall take Lucy to Lufton." Now 
Lord Lufton had been building his house at Lufton 
for the last seven years, and it was not yet finished, — 
or nearly finished, if all that his wife and mother said 
was true. And if they could have their way, it never 
would be finished. And so, in order that Lord Lufton 
might not be actually driven away by the turmoils of 
ecclesiastical contest, the younger Lady Lufton would 
endeavour to moderate both the wrath and the zeal of 
the elder one, and would struggle against the coming 
clergymen. On this day, however, three sat at the 
board at Framley, and Lady Lufton, in her justifica- 
tion to her son, swore that the invitation had been 
given by her daughter-in-law. " You know, my dear," 
the dowager said to Lord Lufton, " something must be 
done for these poor Crawleys ; and as the dean is away 
Lucy wants to speak to the archdeacon about them." 



132 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

"And the archdeacon could not subscribe his ten- 
pound note without having Mr. Champion to back 
him ? " 

" My dear Ludovic, you do put it in such a way." 

" Never mind, mother. I Ve no special dishke to 
Champion ; only as you are not paid five thousand a 
year for your trouble, it is rather hard that you should 
have to do all the work of opposition bishop in the 
diocese." 

It was felt by them all, — ^including Lord Lufton him- 
self, who became so interested in the matter as to for- 
give the black coats before the evening was over, — that 
this matter of Mr. Crawley's committal was very seri- 
ous, and demanded the full energies of their party. It 
was known to them all that the feeling at the palace 
was inimical to Mr. Crawley. "That she-Beelzebub 
hates him for his poverty, and because Arabin brought 
him into the diocese," said the archdeacon, permitting 
himself to use very strong language in his allusion to 
the bishop's wife. It must be recorded on his behalf 
that he used the phrase in the presence only of the 
gentlemen of the party. I think he might have whis- 
pered the word into the ear of his confidential friend 
old Lady Lufton, and perhaps have given no offence ; 
but he would not have ventured to use such words 
aloud in the presence of ladies. 

" You forget, archdeacon," said Dr. Thome, laugh- 
ing, "that the she-Beelzebub is my wife's particular 
friend." 

" Not a bit of it," said the archdeacon. " Your wife 
knows better than that. You tell her what I call her, 
and if she complains of the name, I '11 unsay it." It 
may therefore be supposed that Dr. Thorne, and Mrs. 



DINNER AT FRAMLEY COURT. 133 

Thome, and the archdeacon, knew each other inti- 
mately, and understood each other's feelings on these 
matters. 

It was quite true that the palace party was inimical 
to Mr. Crawley. Mr. Crawley undoubtedly was poor, 
and had not been so submissive to episcopal authority 
as it behoves any clergyman to be whose loaves and 
fishes are scanty. He had raised his back more than 
once against orders emanating from the palace in a 
manner that had made the hairs on the head of the 
bishop's wife to stand almost on end, and had taken 
as much upon himself as though his living had been 
worth twelve hundred a year. Mrs. Proudie, almost 
as energetic in her language as the archdeacon, had 
called him a beggarly perpetual curate. " We must 
have perpetual curates, my dear," the bishop had said. 
" They should know their places then. But what can 
you expect of a creature from the deanery? All 
that ought to be altered. The dean should have no 
patronage in the diocese. No dean should have any 
patronage. It is an abuse from the beginning to the 
end. Dean Arabin, if he had any conscience, would 
be doing the duty at Hogglestock himself." How the 
bishop strove to teach his wife, with mildest words, 
what really ought to be a dean's duty, and how the 
wife rejoined by teaching her husband, not in the 
mildest words, what ought to be a bishop's duty, we 
will not further inquire here. The fact that such dia- 
logues took place at the palace is recorded simply to 
show that the palatial feeling in Barchester ran counter 
to Mr. Crawley. 

And this was cause enough, if no other cause ex- 
isted, for partiality to Mr. Crawley at Framley Court. 



134 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

But, as has been partly explained, there existed, if pos- 
sible, even stronger ground than this for adherence to 
the Crawley cause. The younger Lady Lufton had 
known the Crawleys intimately, and the elder Lady 
Lufton had reckoned them among the neighbouring 
clerical families of her acquaintance. Both these ladies 
were therefore staunch in their defence of Mr. Craw- 
ley. The archdeacon himself had his own reasons, — 
reasons which for the present he kept altogether within 
his own bosom, — for wishing that Mr. Crawley had 
never entered the diocese. Whether the perpetual 
curate should or should not be declared to be a thief, 
it would be terrible to him to have to call the child of 
that perpetual curate his daughter-in-law. But not the 
less on this occasion was he true to his order, true to 
his side in the diocese, true to his hatred of the palace. 

" I don't believe it for a moment," he said, as he 
took his place on the rug before the fire in the draw- 
ing-room when the gentlemen came in from their wine. 
The ladies understood at once what it was that he 
could n't believe. Mr. Crawley had for the moment 
so usurped the county that nobody thought of talking 
of anything else. 

"How is it, then," said Mrs. Thome, "that Lord 
Lufton, and my husband, and the other wiseacres at 
Silverbridge, have committed him for trial ? " 

" Because we were told to do so by the lawyer," said 
Dr. Thome. 

" Ladies will never understand that magistrates must 
act in accordance with the law," said Lord Lufton. 

" But you all say he *s not guilty," said Mrs. Rob- 
arts. 

"The fact is, that the magistrates cannot try the 



/ 



it 



DINNER AT FRAMLEY COURT. X35 

question," said the archdeacon ; " they only hear the 
primary evidence. In this case I don't believe Crawley 
would ever have been committed if he had employed 
an attorney, instead of speaking for himself." 

" Why did n't somebody make him have an attor- 
ney ? " said Lady Lufton. 

" I don't think any attorney in the world could have 
spoken for him better than he spoke for himself," said 
Dr. Thome. 

And yet you committed him," said his wife. 
What can we do for him ? Can't we pay the bail and 
send him off to America ? " 

" A jury will never find him guilty," said Lord Luf- 
ton. 

" And what is the truth of it ? " asked the younger 
Lady Lufton. 

Then the whole matter was discussed again, and it 
was settled among them all that Mr. Crawley had 
undoubtedly appropriated the cheque through tempo- 
rary obliquity of judgment, — obliquity of judgment and 
forgetfulness as to the source from whence the cheque 
had come to him. " He has picked it up about the 
house, and then has thought that it was his own," said 
Lord Lufton. Had they come to the conclusion that 
such an appropriation of money had been made by one 
of the clergy of the palace, by one of the Proudiean 
party, they would doubtless have been very loud and 
very bitter as to the iniquity of the offender. They would 
have said much as to the weakness of the bishop and 
the wickedness of the bishop's wife, and would have 
declared the appropriator to have been as very a thief 
as ever picked a pocket or opened a till ; — ^but they 
were unanimous in their acquittal of Mr. Crawley. It 






136 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

had not been his intention, they said, to be a thief, and 
a man should be judged only by his intention. It 
must now be their object to induce a Baxchester jury 
to look at the matter in the same light. 

" When they come to understand how the land lies," 
said the archdeacon, " they will be all right. There 's 
not a tradesman in the city who does not hate that 
woman as though she were " 

" Archdeacon," said his wife, cautioning him to re- 
press his energy. 

" Their bills are all paid by this new chaplain they Ve 
got, and he is made to claim discount on every leg of 
mutton," said the archdeacon. Arguing from which 
fact, — or from which assertion, he came to the conclu- 
sion that no Barchester jury would find Mr. Crawley 
guilty. 

But it was agreed on all sides that it would not be 
well to trust to the unassisted friendship of the Bar- 
chester tradesmen. Mr. Crawley must be provided 
with legal assistance, and this must be furnished to him 
whether he should be willing or unwilling to receive 
it. That there would be a difficulty was acknowledged. 
Mr. Crawley was known to be a man not easy of per- 
suasion, with a will of his own, with a great energy of 
obstinacy on points which he chose to take up as be- 
ing of importance to his calling, or to his own profes- 
sional status. He had pleaded his own cause before 
the magistrates, and it might be that he would insist 
on doing the same thing before the judge. At last 
Mr. Robarts, the clergyman of Framley, was deputed 
from the knot of Crawleian advocates assembled in 
Lady Lufton's drawing-room, to undertake the duty 
of seeing Mr. Crawley, and of explaining to him that 



DINNER AT FRAMLEY COURX. I37 

his proper defence was regarded as a matter appertain- 
ing to the clergy and gentry generally of that part of 
the country, and that for the sake of the clergy and 
gentry the defence must of course be properly con- 
ducted. In such circumstances the expense of the de- 
fence would of course be borne by the clergy and 
gentry concerned. It was thought that Mr. Robarts 
could put the matter to Mr. Crawley with such a mix- 
ture of the strength of manly friendship and the soft- 
ness of clerical persuasion, as to overcome the recog- 
nized difficulties of the task. 



CHAPTER XI. 

THE BISHOP SENDS HIS INHIBITION. 

Tidings of Mr. Crawley's fate reached the palace 
at Barchester on the afternoon of the day on which 
the magistrates had committed him. All such tidings 
travel very quickly, conveyed by imperceptible wires, 
and distributed by indefatigable message boys whom 
Rumour seems to supply for the purpose. Barchester 
is twenty miles from Silverbridge by road, and more 
than forty by railway. I doubt whether any one was 
commissioned to send the news along the actual tele- 
graph, and yet Mrs. Proudie knew it before four 
o'clock. But she did not know it quite accurately. 
" Bishop," she said, standing at her husband's study- 
door, " they have committed that man to gaol. There 
was no help for them unless they had forsworn them- 
selves." 

"Not forsworn themselves, my dear," said the 
bishop, striving, as was usual with him, by some meek 
and ineffectual word to teach his wife that she was 
occasionally led by. her energy into error. He never 
persisted in the lessons when he found, as was usual, 
that they were taken amiss. 

"I say forsworn themselves!" said Mrs. Proudie; 
" and now what do you mean to do ? This is Thurs- 
day, and of course the man must not be allowed to 

138 



THE BISHOP SENDS HIS INHIBITION. 1 39 

desecrate the church of Hogglestock by performing 
the Sunday services." 

" If he has been committed, my dear, and is in 
prison " 

" I said nothing about prison, bishop." 

" Gaol, my dear." 

" I say they have committed him to gaol. So my 
informant tells me. But of course all the Plumstead 
and Framley set will move heaven and earth to get 
him out, so that he may be there as a disgrace to the 
diocese. I wonder how the dean will feel when he 
hears of it! I do, indeed. For the dean, though he 
is an idle, useless man, with no church principles, and 
no real piety, still he has a conscience. I think he 
has a conscience." 

" I 'm sure he has, my dear." 

"Well; — ^let us hope so. And if he has a con- 
science, what must be his feelings when he hears that 
this creature whom he brought into the diocese has 
been committed to gaol along with common felons." 

" Not with felons, my dear ; at least I should think 
not." 

" I say with common felons! A downright robbery 
of twenty pounds, just as though he had broken into 
the bank! And so he did, with sly artifice, which is 
worse in such hands than a crowbar. And now what 
are we to do ? Here is Thursday, and something must 
be done before Sunday for the souls of those poor 
benighted creatures at Hogglestock." Mrs. Proudie 
was ready for the battle, and was even now sniffing the 
blood afar-off. " I believe it *s a hundred and thirty 
pounds a year," she said, before the bishop had col- 
lected his thoughts sufficiently for a reply. 



140 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" I think we must find out, first of all, whether he is 
really to be shiit up in prison," said the bishop. 

" And suppose he is not to be shut up ? Suppose 
they have been weak, or untrue to their duty — ^and 
from what we know of the magistrates of Barsetshire, 
there is too much reason to suppose that they will 
have been so ; suppose they have let him out, is he to 
go about like a roaring hon, — ^among the souls of the 
people ? " 

The bishop shook in his shoes. When Mrs. Proudie 
began to talk of the souls of the people he always 
shook in his shoes. She had an eloquent way of rais- 
ing her voice over the word souls that was qualified 
to make any ordinary man shake in his shoes. The 
bishop was a conscientious man, and well knew that 
poor Mr. Crawley, even though he might have become 
a thief under terrible temptation, would not roar at 
Hogglestock to the injury of any man's soul. He was 
aware that this poor clergyman had done his duty 
laboriously and efficiently, and he was also aware that 
though he might have been committed by the magis- 
trates, and then let out upon bail, he should not be 
regarded now, in these days before his trial, as a con- 
victed thief. But to explain all this to Mrs. Proudie 
was beyond his power. He knew well that she would 
not hear a word in mitigation of Mr. Crawley's pre- 
srnned offence. Mr. Crawley belonged to the other 
party, and Mrs. Proudie was a thorough-going partisan. 
I know a man, — an excellent fellow, who, being him- 
self a strong politician, constantly expresses a belief 
that all politicians opposed to him are thieves, child- 
murderers, parricides, lovers of incest, demons upon 
the earth. He is a strong partisan, but not, I think, 



THE BISHOP SENDS HIS INHIBITION. I41 

SO Strong as Mrs. Proudie. He says that he believes 
all evil of his opponents ; but she really believed the 
evil. The archdeacon had called Mrs. Proudie a she- 
Beelzebub ; but that was a simple ebullition of mortal 
hatred. He believed her to be simply a vulgar, inter- 
fering, brazen-faced virago. Mrs. Proudie in truth 
believed that the archdeacon was an actual emanation 
from Satan, sent to those parts to devour souls, — as 
she would call it, — and that she herself was an emana- 
tion of another sort, sent from another source expressly 
to Barchester, to prevent such devouring, as far as it 
might possibly be prevented by a mortal agency. The 
bishop knew it all, — understood it all. He regarded 
the archdeacon as a clergyman belonging to a party 
opposed to his party, and he disliked the man. He 
knew that from his first coming into the diocese he 
had been encountered with enmity by the archdeacon 
and the archdeacon's friends. If left to himself he 
could feel and to a certain extent could resent such 
enmity. But he had no faith in his wife's doctrine of 
emanations. He had no faith in many things which 
she believed religiously ; — ^and yet what could he do ? 
If he attempted to explain, she would stop him before 
he had got through the first half of his first sentence. 

" If he is out on bail " commenced the bishop. 

" Of course he will be out on bail." 

" Then I think he should feel " 

" Feel! such men never feel! What feeling can one 
expect from a convicted thief ? " 

" Not convicted as yet, my dear," said the bishop. 

"A convicted thief!" repeated Mrs. Proudie; and 
she vociferated the words in such a tone that the bishop 
resolved that he would for the future let the word con- 



142 THE LAST CHRONICLE GF BARSET. 

victed pass without notice. After all she was only 
using the phrase in a peculiar sense given to it by 
herself. 

" It won't be proper, certainly, that he should do 
the services," suggested the bishop. 

" Proper! It would be a scandal to the whole dio- 
cese. How could he»raise his head as he pronounced 
the eighth commandment? That must be at least 
prevented." 

The bishop, who was seated, fretted himself in his 
chair, moving about with little movements. He knew 
that there was a misery coming upon him ; and, as far 
as he could see, it might become a great misery, a 
huge blistering sore upon him. When miseries came 
to him, as they did not infrequently, he would uncon- 
sciously endeavour to fathom them and weigh them, 
and then, with some gallantry, resolve to bear them, if 
he could find that their depth and weight were not 
too great for his powers of endurance. He would let 
the cold wind whistle by him, putting up the collar of 
his coat, and would encounter the winter weather with- 
out complaint. And he would be patient under the 
hot sun, knowing well that tranquillity is best for those 
who have to bear tropical heat. But when the storm 
threatened to knock him off his legs, when the earth 
beneath him became too hot for his poor tender feet, 
— ^what could he do then ? There had been with him 
such periods of misery, during which he had wailed 
inwardly and had confessed to himself that the wife 
of his bosom was too much for him. Now the storm 
seemed to be coming very roughly. It would be de- 
manded of him that he should exercise certain episco- 
pal authority which he knew did not belong to him. 



THE BISHOP SENDS HIS INHIBITION. 



143 



I 



Now, episcopal authority admits of being stretched or 
contracted, according to the character of the bishop 
who uses it. It is not always easy for a bishop him- 
self to know what he may do, and what he may not 
do. He may certainly give advice to any clergyman 
in his diocese, and he may give it in such form that it 
will have in it something of authority. Such advice 
coming from a dominant bishop to a clergyman with 
a submissive mind has in it very much of authority. 
But Bishop Proudie knew that Mr. Crawley was not a 
clergyman with a submissive mind, and he feared that 
he himself, as regarded from Mr. Crawley's point of 
view, was not a dominant bishop. And yet he could 
only act by advice. " I will write to him," said the 
bishop, " and will explain to him that as he is circum- 
stanced he should not appear in the reading-desk." 

" Of course he must not appear in the reading-desk. 
That scandal must at any rate be inhibited." Now 
the bishop did not at all hke the use of the word in- 
hibited, understanding well that Mrs. Proudie intended 
it to be understood as implying some episcopal com- 
mand against which there should be no appeal ; — ^but 
he let it pass. 

I will write to him, my dear, to-night." 

And Mr. Thumble can go over with the letter the 
first thing in the morning." 

Will not the post be better ? " 

No, bishop ; certainly not." 

He would get it sooner, if I write to-night, my 
dear." 

" In either case he will get it to-morrow morning. 
An hour or two will not signify, and if Mr. Thunible 
takes it Imnself we shall know how it is received. It 



it 



it 



it 



t( 



n 



144 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

will be well that Thumble should be there in person as 
he will want to look for lodgings in the parish." 

" But, my dear " 

" WeU, bishop ? " 

" About lodgings ? I hardly think that Mr. Thum- 
ble, if we decide that Mr. Thumble shall undertake 
the duty " 

" We have decided that Mr. Thumble should under- 
take the duty. That is decided." 

" But I do not think he should trouble himself to 
look for lodgings at Hogglestock. He can go over on 
the Sundays." 

" And who is to do the parish work ? Would you have 
that man, a convicted thief, to look after the schools, 
and visit the sick, and perhaps attend the djring ? " 

" There will be a great difficulty ; there will indeed," 
said the bishop, becoming very unhappy, and feeling 
that he was driven by circumstances either to assert 
his own knowledge or teach his wife something of the 
law with reference to his position as a bishop. " Who 
«is to pay Mr. Thumble ? " 

"The income of the parish must be sequestrated, 
and he must be paid out of that. Of course he must 
have the income while he does the work." 

" But, my dear, I cannot sequestrate the man's in- 
come." 

" I don't believe it, bishop. If the bishop cannot 
sequestrate it, who can ? But you are always timid in 
exercising the authority put into your hands for wise 
purposes. Not sequestrate the income of a man who 
has been proved to be a thief! You leave that to us, 
and we will manage it." The " us " here named com- 
prised Mrs. Proudie and the bishop's managing chaplain. 



THE BISHOP SENDS HIS INHIBITION. 145 

Then the bishop was left alone for an hour to write 
the letter which Mr. Thumble was to carry over to 
Mr. Crawley, — and after a while he did write it. Be- 
fore he commenced the task, however, he sat for some 
moments in his arm-chair close by the fireside, asking 
himself whether it might not be possible for him to 
overcome his enemy in this matter. How would it go 
with him suppose he were to leave the letter unwritten, 
and send in a message by his chaplain to Mrs. Proudie, 
saying that as Mr. Crawley was out on bail, the parish 
might be left for the present without episcopal interfer- 
ence ? She could not make him interfere. She could 
not force him to write the letter. So, at least, he said 
to himself. But as he said it, he almost thought that 
she could do these things. In the last thirty years, or 
more, she had ever contrived by some power latent in 
her to have her will effected. But what would hap- 
pen, if now, even now, he were to rebel ? That he 
would personally become very uncomfortable, he was 
well aware, but he thought that he could bear that. 
The food would become bad, — ^mere ashes between his 
teeth ; the daily modicum of wine would lose its flavour ; 
the chimneys would all smoke ; the wind would come 
from the east, and the servants would not answer the 
bell. Little miseries of that kind would crowd upon 
him. He had arrived at a time of life in which such 
miseries make such men very miserable ; but yet he 
thought that he could endure them. And what other 
wretchedness would come to him ? She would scold 
him, frightfully, loudly, scornfully, and worse than all, 
continually. But of this he had so much habitually, 
that anything added might be borne also ; — if only he 
could be sure that the scoldings should go on in pri- 

VOL. I. — 10 



146 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

vate, that the world of the palace should not be allowed 
to hear the revilings to which he would be subjected. 
But to be scolded publicly was the great evil which he 
dreaded beyond all evils. He was well aware that the 
palace would know his misfortune, that it was known, 
and freely discussed by all, from the examining chap- 
lain down to the palace boot-boy ; — ^nay, that it was 
known to all the diocese ; but yet he could smile upon 
those around him, and look as though he held his own 
like other men, — ^unless when open violence was dis- 
played. But when that voice was heard aloud along 
the corridors of the palace, and when he was summoned 
imperiously by the woman, calling for her bishop, so 
that all Barchester heard it, and when he was com- 
pelled to creep forth from his study, at the sound of 
that summons, with distressed face, and shaking hands, 
and short, hunying steps, — a being to be pitied even 
by a deacon, — ^not venturing to assume an air of mas- 
terdom should he chance to meet a housemaid on thie 
stairs, — ^then, at such moments as that, he would feel 
that any submission was better than the misery which 
he suffered. And he well knew that should he now 
rebel, the whole house would be in a turmoil. He 
would be bishoped here, and bishoped there, before 
the eyes of all palatial men and women, till life would 
be a burden to him. So he got up from his seat over 
the fire, and went to his desk and wrote the letter. 
The letter was as follows : — 

" The Palace, Barchester, December, i86— . 
" Reverend Sir," — (he left out the dear, because he 
knew that if he inserted it he would be compelled to 
write the letter over again) — " I have heard to-day. 



THE BISHOP SENDS HIS INHIBITION. I47 

with the greatest trouble of spirit, that you have been 
taken before a bench of magistrates assembled at 
Silverbridge, having been previously arrested by the 
police in your parsonage-house at Hogglestock, and 
that the magistrates of Silverbridge have committed 
you to take your trial at the next assizes at Barchester, 
on a charge of theft. 

" Far be it from me to prejudge the case. You will 
understand, reverend sir, that I express no opinion 
whatever as to your guilt or innocence in this matter. 
If you have been guilty, may the Lord give you grace 
to repent of your great sin, and to make such amends 
as may come from immediate acknowledgment and 
confession. If you are innocent may He protect you, 
and make your innocence to shine before all men. In 
either case may the Lord be with you and keep your 
feet from further stumbling. 

" But I write to you now as your bishop, to explain 
to you that, circumstanced as you are, you cannot 
with decency perform the church services of your par- 
ish. I have that confidence in you that I doubt not 
you will agree with me in this, and be grateful to me 
for reheving you so far from the immediate perplex- 
ities of your position. I have, therefore, appointed the 
Rev. Caleb Thumble to perform the duties of incum- 
bent of Hogglestock till such time as a jury shall have 
decided upon your case at Barchester ; and in order 
that you may at once become acquainted with Mr. 
Thumble, as will be most convenient that you should 
do, I will commission him to deliver this letter into 
your hand personally to-morrow, trusting that you will 
receive him with that brotherly spirit in which he is 
sent upon this painful mission. 



'>> 



148 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" Touching the remuneration to which Mr. Thumble 
will become entitled for his temporary ministrations 
in the parish of Hogglestock, I do not at present lay 
down any strict injunction. He must, at any rate, be 
paid at a rate not less than that ordinarily afforded for 
a curate. 

" I will once again express my fervent hope that the 
Lord may bring you to see the true state of your own 
soul, and that He may fill you with the grace of re- 
pentance, so that the bitter waters of the present hour 
may not pass over your head and destroy you. 
" I have the honour to be, 

'* Reverend Sir, 
" Your faithful servant in Christ, 

" T. Barnum." * 

The bishop had hardly finished his letter when Mrs. 
Proudie returned to the study, followed by the Rev. 
Caleb Thumble. Mr. Thumble was a little man, about 
forty years of age, who had a wife and children living 
in Barchester, and who existed on such chance clerical 
crumbs as might fall from the table of the bishop's 
patronage. People in Barchester said that Mrs. 
Thumble was a cousin of Mrs. Proudie's; but as 
Mrs. Proudie stoutly denied the connection it may be 
supposed that the people of Barchester were wrong. 
Had Mr. Thumble*s wife in truth been a cousin, Mrs. 
Proudie would surely have provided for him during 
the many years in which the diocese had been in her 
hands. No such provision had been made, and Mr. 

* Baronum Castrum having been the old Roman name from 
which the modem Barchester is derived, the bishops of the dio- 
cese have always signed themselves Barnum. 



THE BISHOP SENDS HIS INHIBITION. I49 

Thumble, who had now been living in the diocese for 
three years, had received nothing else from the bishop 
than such chance employment as this which he was 
now to undertake at Hogglestock. He was a humble, 
mild-voiced man when within the palace precincts, 
and had so far succeeded in making his way among 
his brethren in the cathedral city as to be employed 
not unfrequently for absent minor canons in chanting 
the week-day services, being remunerated for his work 
at the rate of about five shillings a service. 

The bishop handed his letter to his wife, observing 
in an off-hand kind of way that she might as well see 
what he said. " Of course I shall read it," said Mrs. 
Proudie. And the bishop winced visibly, because 
Mr. Thumble was present. " Quite right," said Mrs. 
Proudie, " quite right to let him know that you knew 
that he had been arrested, — actually arrested by the 
police." 

" I thought it proper to mention that, because of the 
scandal," said the bishop. 

" Oh, it has been terrible in the city," said Mr. 
Thumble. 

" Never mind, Mr. Thumble," said Mrs. Proudie. 
" Never mind that at present." Then she continued 
to read the letter. " What *s this ? Confession ! That 
must come out, bishop. It will never do that you 
should recommend confession to anybody, under any 
circumstances." 

" But, my dear " 

" It must come out, bishop." 

"My lord has not meant auricular confession," 
suggested Mr. Thumble. Then Mrs. Proudie turned 
round and looked at Mr. Thumble, and Mr. Thumble 



1 



150 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

nearly sank amidst the tables and chairs. " I beg 
your pardon, Mrs. Proudie," he said. " I did n't 
mean to intrude." 

" The word must come out, bishop," repeated Mrs. 
Proudie. "There should be no stumbling-blocks pre- 
pared for feet that are only too ready to fall." And 
the word did come out. 

*' Now, Mr. Thumble," said the lady, as she gave 
the letter to her satellite, " the bishop and I wish you 
to be at Hogglestock early to-morrow. You should 
be there not later than ten, certainly." Then she 
paused until Mr. Thumble had given the required 
l)romise. " And we request that you will be very firm 
in the mission which is confided to you, a mission 
which, as of course you see, is of a very delicate and 
important nature. You must be firm." 

" I will endeavour," said Mr. Thumble. 

" The bishop and I both feel that this most unfortu- 
nate man must not under any circumstances be allowed 
to perform the services of the church while this charge 
is hanging over him, — a charge as to the truth of which 
no sane man can entertain a doubt." 

I *m afraid not, Mrs. Proudie," said Mr. Thumble. 
The bishop and I, therefore, are most anxious that 
you should make Mr. Crawley understand at once — at 
once," and the fady, as she spoke, Kfted up her left hand 
with an eloquent violence which had its effect upon 
Mr. Thumble, " that he is inhibited," — the bishop shook 
in his shoes, — " inhibited from the performance of any 
of his sacred duties." Thereupon Mr. Thumble prom- 
ised obedience and went his way. 






CHAPTER XII. 

MR. CRAWLEY SEEKS FOR SYMPATHY. 

Matters went very badly indeed in the parsonage- 
house at Hogglestock. On the Friday morning, the 
morning of the day after his committal, Mr. Crawley 
got up very early, long before the daylight, and dress- 
ing himself in the dark, groped his way downstairs. 
His wife having vainly striven to persuade him to re- 
main where he was, followed him into the cold room 
below with a lighted candle. She found him standing 
with his hat on and with his old cloak, as though he 
were prepared to go out. " Why do you do this ? " she 
said. " You will make yourself ill with the cold and 
the night air ; and then you, and I too, will be worse 
than we now are." 

" We cannot be worse. You cannot be worse, and 
for me it does not signify. Let me pass." 

" I will not let you pass, Josiah. Be a man and 
bear it. Ask God for strength, instead of seeking it in 
an over-indulgence of your own sorrow." 

"Indulgence!" 

"Yes, love; — indulgence. It is indulgence. You 
will allow your mind to dwell on nothing for a moment 
but your own wrongs." 

" What else have I that I can think of ? Is not all 
the world against me ? " 

151 



152 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" Am I against you ? " 

" Sometimes I think you are. When you accuse me 
of self-indulgence you are against me, — me, who for 
myself have desired nothing but to be allowed to do 
my duty, and to have bread enough to keep me alive, 
and clothes enough to make me decent." 

" Is it not self-indulgence, this giving way to grief ? 
Who would know so well as you how to teach the les- 
son of endurance to others ? Come, love. Lay down 
your hat. It cannot be fitting that you should go out 
into the wet and cold of the raw morning." 

For a moment he hesitated, but as she raised her 
hand to take his cloak from him he drew back from 
her, and would not permit it. " I shall find those up 
whom I want to see," he said. " I must visit my flock, 
and I dare not go through the parish by daylight lest 
they hoot after me as a thief." 

" Not one in Hogglestock would say a word to 
insult you." 

" Would they not ? The very children in the school 
whisper at me. Let me pass, I say. It has not as yet 
come to that, that I should be stopped in my egress 
and ingress. They have — bailed me ; and while their 
bail lasts, I may go where I will." 

"Oh, Josiah, what words to me! Have I ever 
stopped your liberty ? Would I not give my life to 
secure it ? " 

" Let me go, then, now. I tell you that I have 
business in hand." 

" But I will go with you ! I will be ready in an 
instant." 

" You go ? Why should you go ? Are there not the 
children for you to mind ? " 



MR. CRAWLEY SEEKS FOR SYMPATHY. 1 53 

" There is only Jane." 

" Stay with her, then. Why should you go about 
the parish ? " She still held him by the cloak, and 
looked anxiously up into his face. " Woman," he said, 
raising his voice, " what is it that you dread ? I com- 
mand you to tell me what is it that you fear ? " He 
had now taken hold of her by the shoulder, slightly 
thrusting her from him, so that he might see her face 
by the dim light of the single candle. " Speak, I say. 
What is it that you think that I shall do ? " 

" Dearest, I know that you will be better at home, 
better with me, than you can be on such a morning as 
this out in the cold damp air." 

" And is that all ? " He looked hard at her, while 
she returned his gaze with beseeching, loving eyes. 
" Is there nothing behind, that you will not tell me ? " 

She paused for a moment before she replied. She 
had never lied to him. She could not lie to him. " I 
wish you knew my heart towards you," she said, " with 
all and everything in it." 

" I know your heart well, but I want to know your 
mind. Why would you persuade me not to go out 
among my poor ? " 

" Because it will be bad for you to be out alone in 
the dark lanes, in the mud and wet, thinking of your 
sorrow. You will brood over it till you lose your senses 
through the intensity of your grief. You will stand 
out in the cold air, forgetful of everything around 
you, till your limbs will be numbed, and your blood 
chilled, " 

" And then ? " 

" Oh, Josiah, do not hold me like that, and look at 
me so angrily." 



154 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" And even then I will bear my burden till the Lord 
in His mercy shall see fit to relieve me. Even then I 
will endure, though a bare bodkin or a leaf of hemlock 
would put an end to it. Let me pass on ; you need 
fear nothing." 

She did let him pass without another word, and he 
went out of the house, shutting the door after him 
noiselessly, and closing the wicket-gate of the garden. 
For a while she sat herself down on the nearest chair, 
and tried to make up her mind how she might best 
treat him in his present state of mind. As regarded 
the present morning her heart was at ease. She knew 
that he would do now nothing of that which she had 
apprehended. She could trust him not to be false in 
his word to her, though she could not before have 
trusted him not to commit so much heavier a sin. If 
he would really employ himself from morning till night 
among the poor, he would be better bo, — his trouble 
would be easier of endurance, — ^than with any other 
employment which he could adopt. What she most 
dreaded was that he should sit idle over the fire and do 
nothing. When he was so seated she could read his 
mind, as though it was open to her as a book. She 
had been quite right when she had accused him of 
over-indulgence in his grief. He did give way to it 
till it became a luxury to him, — a luxury which she 
would not have had the heart to deny him had she not 
felt it to he of all luxuries the most pernicious. Dur- 
ing these long hours, in which he would sit speechless, 
doing nothing, he was telling himself from minute to 
minute that of all God^s creatures he was the most 
heavily afflicted, and was revelling in the sense of the 
injustice done to him. He was recalling all the facts 



MR. CRAWLEY SEEKS FOR SYMPATHY. 155 

of his life, his education, which had been costly, and, 
as regarded knowledge, successful ; his vocation to the 
church, when in his youth he had determined to devote 
himself to the service of his Saviour, disregarding pro- 
motion or the favour of men ; the short, sweet days of 
his early love, in which he had devoted himself again, 
— thinking nothing of self, but everything of her ; his 
diligent working, in which he had ever done his very 
utmost for the parish in which hie was placed, and 
always his best for the poorest ; the success of other 
men who had been his compeers, and, as he too often 
told himself, intellectually his inferiors ; then of his 
children, who had been carried off from his love to the 
churchyard, — over whose graves he himself had stood, 
reading out the pathetic words of the funeral service 
with unswerving voice and a bleeding heart ; and then 
of his children still living, who loved their mother so 
much better than they loved him. And he would re- 
call all the circumstances of his poverty, — ^how he had 
been driven to accept alms, to fly from creditors, to 
hide himself, to see his chairs and tables seized before 
the eyes of those over whom he had been set as their 
spiritual pastor. And in it all, I think, there was noth- 
ing so bitter to the man as the derogation from the 
spiritual grandeur of his position as priest among men, 
which came as one necessary result from his poverty. 
St. Paul could go forth without money in his purse, or 
shoes to his feet, or two suits to his back, and his pov- 
erty never stood in the way of his preaching, or hin- 
dered the veneration of the faithful. St. Paul, indeed, 
was called upon to bear stripes, was flung into prison, 
encountered terrible dangers. But Mr. Crawley, — so 
he told himself,— could have encountered all that with- 



IS6 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

out flinching. The stripes and scorn of the unfaithful 
would have been nothing to him, if only the faithful 
would have beb'eved in him, poor as he was, as they 
would have believed in him had he been rich! Even 
they whom he had most loved treated him almost with 
derision, because he was now different from them. 
Dean Arabin had laughed at him because he had per- 
sisted in walking ten miles through the mud instead of 
being conveyed in the dean's carriage ; and yet, after 
that, he had been driven to accept the dean's char- 
ity! No one respected him. No one! His very wife 
thought that he was a lunatic. And now he had been 
publicly branded as a thief ; and in all likelihood would 
end his days in a gaol! Such were always his thoughts 
as he sat idle, silent, moody, over the fire ; and his wife 
well knew their currents. It would certainly be better 
that he should drive himself to some emplojonent, if 
any employment could be found possible to him. 

When she had been alone for a few minutes, Mrs. 
Crawley got up from her chair, and going into the 
kitchen, lighted the fire there, and put the kettle over 
it, and began to prepare such breakfast for her husband 
as the means in the house afforded. Then she called 
the sleeping servant-girl, who was little more than a 
child, and went into her own girl's room, and then she 
got into bed with her daughter. 

" I have been up with your papa, dear, and I am 
cold." 

"Oh, mamma, poor mammal Why is papa up so 
early ? " 

" He has gone out to visit some of the brickmakers 
before they go to their work. It is better for him to 
be employed." 



MR. CRAWLEY SEEKS FOR SYMPATHY. 1 57 

" But, mamma, it is pitch dark! " 

" Yes, dear, it is still dark. Sleep again for a while, 
and I will sleep too. I think Grace will be here to- 
night, and then there will be no room for me here." 

Mr. Crawley went forth and made his way with 
rapid steps to a portion of his parish nearly two miles 
distant from his house, through which was carried a 
canal, affording water communication in some intricate 
way both to London and Bristol. And on the brink 
of this canal there had sprung up a colony of brick- 
makers, the nature of the earth in those parts combin- 
ing with the canal to make brickmaking a suitable 
trade, ^he workmen there assembled were not, for 
the most part, native-bom Hogglestockians, or folk 
descended from Hogglestockian parents. They had 
come thither from unknown regions, as laboiwers of 
that class do come when they are needed. Some 
young men from that and neighbouring parishes had 
joined themselves to the colony, allured by wages, and 
disregarding the menaces of the neighbouring farmers ; 
but they were all in appearance and manners nearer 
akin to the race of navvies than to ordinary rural 
labourers. They had a bad name in the country ; but 
it may be that their name was worse than their deserts. 
The farmers hated them, and consequently they hated 
the farmers. They had a beershop, and a grocer's 
shop, and a huckster's shop for their own accommo- 
dation, and were consequently vilified by the small old- 
established tradesmen around them. They got drunk 
occasionally, but I doubt whether they drank more 
than did the farmers themselves on market-day. They 
fought among themselves sometimes, but they forgave 
each other freely, and seemed to have no objection to 



158 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

black eyes. I fear that they were not always good to 
their wives, nor were their wives always good to them ; 
but it should be remembered that among the poor, 
especially when they live in clusters, such misfortunes 
cannot be hidden as they may be amidst the decent be- 
longings of more wealthy people. That they worked 
very hard was certain; and it was certain also that 
very few of their number ever came upon the poor- 
rates. What became of the old brickmakers no one 
knew. Who ever sees a worn-out aged navvie ? 

Mr. Crawley, ever since his first coming into Hog- 
glestock, had been very busy among these brickmakers, 
and by no means without success. Indeed, the farm- 
ers had quarrelled with him because the brickmakers 
had so crowded the narrow parish church as to leave 
but scant room for decent people. " Doo they folk 
pay tithes ? That *s what I want 'un to tell me," ar- 
gued one farmer, — ^not altogether unnaturally, believ- 
ing as he did that Mr. Crawley was paid by tithes out 
of his own pocket. But Mr. Crawley had done his 
best to make the brickmakers welcome at the chiu-ch, 
scandalising the farmers by causing them to sit or stand 
in any portion of the church which was hitherto unap- 
propriated. He had been constant in his personal 
visits to them, and had felt himself to be more a St. 
Paul with them than with any other of his neighbours 
around him. 

It was a cold morning, but the rain of the preceding 
evening had given way to frost, and the air, though 
sharp, was dry. The ground under the feet was crisp, 
having felt the wind and frost, and was no longer 
clogged with mud. In his present state of mind the 
walk was good for our poor pastor, and exhilarated 



MR. CRAWLEY SEEKS FOR SYMPATHY. 1 59 

him ; but still, as he went, he thought always of his in- 
juries. His own wife believed that he was about to 
commit suicide, and for so believing he was very angry 
with her ; and yet, as he well knew, the idea of mak- 
ing away with himself had flitted through his own mind 
a dozen times. Not from his own wife could he get 
real sympathy. He would see what he could do with 
a certain brickmaker of his acquaintance. 

" Are you here, Dan ? " he said, knocking at the 
door of a cottage which stood alone, close to the tow- 
ing-path of the canal, and close also to a forlorn comer 
of the muddy, watery, ugly, disordered brickfield. It 
was now just past six o'clock, and the men would be 
rising, as in midwinter they commenced their work at 
seven. The cottage was an unalluring, straight brick- 
built tenement, seeming as though intended to be one 
of a row which had never progressed beyond Number 
One. A voice answered from the interior, inquiring 
who was the visitor, to which Mr. Crawley replied by 
giving his name. Then the key was turned in the 
lock, and Dan Morris, the brickmaker, appeared with 
a candle in his hand. He had been engaged in light- 
ing the fire, with a view to his own breakfast. " Where 
is your wife, Dan ? " asked Mr. Crawley, The man 
answered by pointing with a short poker, which he 
held in his hand, to the bed, which was half screened 
from the room by a ragged ctu'tain, which hung from 
the ceiling half-way down to the floor. " And are the 
Darvels here ? " asked Mr. Crawley. Then Morris, 
again using the poker, pointed upwards, showing that 
the Darvels were still in their own allotted abode up- 
stairs. 

" You 're early out. Muster Crawley," said Morris, 



l60 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

and then he went on with his fire. " Drat the sticks, 
if they bean't as wut as the did *un hisself. Get up, 
old woman, and do you do it, for I can't. They wun't 
kindle for me, nohow." But the old woman, having 
well noted the presence of Mr. Crawley, thought it 
better to remain where she was. 

Mr. Crawley sat himself down by the obstinate fire, 
and began to arrange the sticks. " Dan, Dan," said a 
voice from the bed, " sure you would n*t let his rever- 
ence trouble himself with the fire." 

" How be I to keep him from it if he chooses ? I 
did n't ax him." Then Morris stood by and watched, 
and after a while Mr. Crawley succeeded in his at- 
tempt. 

" How could it bum when you had not given the 
small spark a current of air to help it ? " said Mr. 
Crawley. 

" In course not," said the woman, " but he be such 
a stoopid." 

The husband said no word in acknowledgment of 
this compliment, nor did he thank Mr. Crawley for 
what he had done, nor appear as though he intended 
to take any notice of him. He was going on with his 
work when Mr. Crawley again interrupted him. 

" How did you get back from Silverbridge yester- 
day, Dan? " 

Footed it, — all the blessed way." 
It *s only eight miles." 

And I footed it there, and that 's sixteen. And I 
paid one-and-sixpence for beer and grub ; — s' help me, 
I did." 

" Dan! " said the voice from the bed, rebuking him 
for the impropriety of his language. 



« 
it 
tt 



MR. CRAWLEY SEEKS FOR SYMPATHY. l6l 



u 



Well ; I beg pardon, but I did. And they guv 

me two bob ; — ^just two plain shillings, by " 

"Dan!" 

" And I 'd 've amed three-and-six here at brickmak- 
ing, easy ; that 's what I would. How *s a poor man 
to live that way ? They *11 not cotch me at Barchester 
'Sizes at that price ; they may be sure o' that. Look 
there, — that 's what I Ve got for my day." And he 
put his hand into his breeches' pocket and fetched 
out a sixpence. " How 's a man to fill his belly out 
of that ? Damnation I " 
"Dan!" 

" Well, what did I say ? Hold your jaw, will you, 
and not be halloaing at me that way ? I know what 
I *m a-saying of, and what I *m a-doing of." 

" I wish they 'd given you something more with all 
my heart," said Crawley. 

We knows that," said the woman from the bed. 
We is sure of that, your reverence." 

Sixpence!" said the man scornfully. " If they 'd 
have guv' me nothing at all but the run of my teeth 
at the public-house, I 'd 've taken it better. But six- 
pence!" 

Then there was a pause. "And what have they 
given to me ? " said Mr. Crawley, when the man's ill- 
humour about his sixpence had so far subsided as to 
allow of his busying himself again about the premises. 
Yes, indeed; — ^yes, indeed," said the woman. 
Yes, yes, we feel that ; we do indeed, Mr. Crawley." 
I tell you what, sir ; for another sixpence, I *d 've 
sworn you 'd never guv' me the paper at all ; and so 
I will now, if it bean't too late ; — sixpence or no six- 
pence. What do I care ? d — them." 

V UL. I, — 11 



it 



it 



I62 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

"Dan!" 

" And why should n*t I ? They hain't got brains 
enough among them to winny the truth from the lies 
— ^not among the lot of *em. I '11 swear afore the 
judge that you did n't give it me at all, if that '11 do 
any good." 

" Man, do you think I would have you perjure 
yourself, even if that would do me a service ? And 
do you think that any man was ever served by a 
lie ? " 

" Faix, among them chaps it don't do to tell them 
too much of the truth. Look at that!" And he 
brought out the sixpence again from his breeches' 
pocket. "And look at your reverence. Only that 
they 've let you out for a while, they 've been nigh as 
hard on you as though you were one of us." 

" If they think that I stole it, they have been right," 
said Mr. Crawley. 

" It 's been along of that chap Soames," said the 
woman. " The lord would 've paid the money out of 
his own pocket and never said not a word." 

" If they think that I 've been a thief, they have 
done right," repeated Mr. Crawley. " But how can 
they think so? How can they think so? Have I 
lived like a thief among them ? " 

" For the matter o' that, if a man ain't paid for his 
work by them as is his employers, he must pay hisself. 
Them 's my notions. Look at that!" Whereupon 
he again pulled out the sixpence, and held it forth in 
the palm of his hand. 

" You believe, then," said Mr. Crawley, speaking 
very slowly, " that I did steal the money ? Speak out, 
Dan ; I shall not be angry. As you go you are honest 



MIL CRAWLEY SEEKS FOR SYMPATHY. 1 63 

men, and I want to know what such of you think 
about it." 

"He don't think nothing of the kind/' said the 
woman, ahnost getting out of bed in her energy. '' If 
he 'd athought the like o' that in his head, I 'd read 
'un such a lesson he 'd never think again the longest 
day he had to live." 

" Speak out, Dan," said the clergyman, not attend- 
ing to the woman. ''You can understand that no 
good can come of a lie." Dan Morris scratched his 
head. " Speak out, man, when I tell you," said Mr. 
Crawley. 

" Drat it all," said Dan, " where 's the use of so 
much jaw about it ? " 

*' Say you know his reverence is as innocent as the 
babe as is n't bom,** said the woman. 

" No ; I won't, — say nothing of the kind," said Dan. 
Speak out the truth," said Crawley. 
They do say, among 'em," said Dan, " that you 
picked it up, and then got a woolgathering in yoiu: 
head till you did n't rightly know where it come from." 
Then he paused. " And after a bit you guv' it me to 
get the money. Did n't you, now ? " 

" I did." 

'' And they do say if a poor man had done it, it 'd 
been stealing, for sartain." 

" And I 'm a poor man, — ^the poorest in all Hoggle- 
stock ; and, therefore, of course, it is stealing. Of 
course I am a thief. Yes ; of course I am a thief. 
When did not the world believe the worst of the poor ? " 
Having so spoken, Mr. Crawley rose from his chair 
and hurried out of the cottage, waiting no further 
reply from Dan Morris or his wife. And as he made 



it 
ft 



1 64 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSST. 

fais way slowly hcmie, not going there by the direct 
road, but by a long circuit, he told himself that there 
could be no sympathy for him anywhere. Even Dan 
Morris, the brickmaker, thought that he was a thief. 

" And am I a thief ? " he said to himself, standing in 
the middle of the road, with his handa up to hia fore- 
head. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE bishop's angel. 

It was nearly nine before Mr. Crawley got back to 
his house, and found his wife and daughter waiting 
breakfast for him. "I should not wonder if Grace 
were over here to-day," said Mrs. Crawley. " She 'd 
better remain where she is" said he. After this the 
meal passed almost without a word. When it was 
over, Jane, at a sign from her mother, went up to her 
father and asked him whether she should read with 
him. *' Not now," he said, " not just now. I must 
rest my brain before it will be fit for any work." Then 
he got into the chair over the fire, and his wife began 
to fear that he would remain there all the day. 

But the morning was not far advanced, when there 
came a visitor who disturbed him, and by disturbing 
him did him real service. Just at ten there arrived 
at the little gate before the house a man on a pony, 
whom Jane espied, standing there by the pony's head 
and looking about for some one to relieve him from 
the charge of his steed. This was Mr. Thumble, who 
had ridden over to Hogglestock on a poor spavined 
brute belonging to the bishop's stable and which had 
once been the bishop's cob. Now it was the vehicle 
by which Mrs. Proudie's episcopal messages were sent 
backwards and forwards through a twelve-mile ride 

165 



1 66 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

round Barchester ; and so many were the lady's re- 
quirements that the poor animal by no means eat the 
hay of idleness. Mr. Thumble had suggested to Mrs. 
Proudie, after their interview with the bishop and the 
giving up of the letter to the clerical messenger's 
charge, that before hiring a gig from the Dragon of 
Wantley, he should be glad to know, — looking as he 
always did to " Mary Anne and the children," — ^whence 
the price of the gig was to be returned to him. Mrs. 
Proudie had frowned at him, — ^not with all the austerity 
of frowning which she could use when really angered, 
but simply with a frown which gave her some little time 
for thought, and would enable her to continue the re- 
buke if, after thinking, she should find that rebuke was 
needed. But mature consideration showed her that 
Mr. Thumble's caution was not without reason. Were 
the bishop energetic, or even the bishop's managing 
chaplain as energetic as he should be, Mr. Crawley 
might, as Mrs. Proudie felt assured, be made in some 
way to pay for a conveyance for Mr. Thumble. But 
the energy was lacking, and the price of the gig, if the 
gig were ordered, would certainly fall ultimately upon 
the bishop's shoulders. This was very sad. Mrs. 
Proudie had often grieved over the necessary expendi- 
ture of episcopal surveillance, and had been heard to 
declare her opinion that a liberal allowance for secret 
service should be made in every diocese. What better 
could the Ecclesiastical Commissioners do with all 
those rich revenues which they had stolen from the 
bishops! But there was no such liberal allowance at 
present, and, therefore, Mrs. Proudie, after having 
frowned at Mr. Thumble for some seconds, desired him 
to take the grey cob. Now, Mr. Thumble had ridden 



THE bishop's angel. 1 67 

the grey cob before, and would much have preferred 
a gig. But even the grey cob was better than a gig at 
his own cost. 

" Mamma, there 's a man at the gate wanting to 
come in," said Jane. " I think he is a clergyman." 

Mr. Crawley immediately raised his head, though 
he did not at once leave his chair. Mrs. Crawley 
went to the window, and recognised the reverend 
visitor. " My dear, it is that Mr. Thumble who is so 
much with the bishop." 

" What does Mr. Thumble want with me ? " 

" Nay, my dear ; he will tell you that himself." But 
Mrs. Crawley, though she answered him with a voice 
intended to be cheerful, greatly feared the coming of 
this messenger from the palace. She perceived at 
once that the bishop was about to interfere with her 
husband in consequence of that which the magistrates 
had done yesterday. 

" Mamma, he does n*t know what to do with his 
pony," said Jane. 

"Tell him to tie it to the rail," said Mr. Crawley. " If 
he has expected to find menials here, as he has them at 
the palace, he will be wrong. If he wants to come in 
here, let him tie the beast to the rail." So Jane went 
out and sent a message to Mr. Thumble by the girl, 
and Mr. Thumble did tie the pony to the rail, and fol- 
lowed the girl into the house. Jane in the mean time 
had retired out by the back door to the school, but 
Mrs. Crawley kept her ground. She kept her ground 
although she almost believed that her husband would 
prefer to have the field to himself. As Mr. Thumble 
did not at once enter the room, Mr. Crawley stalked 
to the door, and stood with it open in his hand. 



1 68 THE LAST CHRONICL£ OF BARSET. 

Thou^ he knew Mr. Thumble's person he was not 
acquainted with him, and therefore he simply bowed 
to the visitor, — bowing more than once or twice with 
a cold courtesy which did not put Mr. Thumble alto- 
gether at his ease. " My name is Mr. Thumble," said 
the visitor, — " The Reverend Caleb Thumble ; ** and 
he held the bishop's letter in his hand. Mr. Crawley 
seemed to take no notice of the letter, but motioned 
Mr. Thumble with his hand into the room. 

" I suppose you have come over from Barchester this 
morning ? " said Mrs. Crawley. 

"Yes, madam, — ^from the palace." Mr. Thumble, 
though a humble man in positions in which he felt that 
humility would become him, — a humble man to his 
betters, as he himself would have expressed it,— had 
still about him something of that pride which natiurally 
belonged to those clergymen who were closely attached 
to the palace at Barchester. Had he been sent on a 
message to Plumstead, — could any such message from 
Barchester palace have been possible,-^he would have 
been properly humble in his demeanour to the arch- 
deacon, or to Mrs. Grantly had he been admitted to 
the august presence of that lady ; but he was aware that 
humility would not become him on his present mis- 
sion; he had been expressly ordered to be firm by 
Mrs. Proudie, and firm he meant to be ; and therefore, 
in communicating to Mrs. Crawley the fact that he 
had come from the palace, he did load the tone of his 
voice with something of dignity which Mr. Crawley 
might perhaps be excused for regarding as arrogance. 

" And what does the ' palace ' want with me ? " said 
Mr. Crawley. Mrs. Crawley knew at once that there 
was to be a battle. Nay, the battle had begun. Nor 



\ 



THE bishop's angel. 1 69 

was she altogether sorry; for though she could not 
trust her husband to sit alone all day in his arm-chair 
over the fire, she could trust him to carry on a dispu- 
tation with any other clergyman on any subject what- 
ever. " What does the palace want with me? " And 
as Mr. Crawley asked the question he stood erect, and 
looked Mr. Thumble full in the face. Mr. Thumble 
called to mind the fact that Mr. Crawley was a very 
poor man indeed, — so poor that he owed money all 
round the country to butchers and bakers, — and the 
other fact, that he, Mr. Thumble himself, did not owe 
any money to any one, his wife luckily having a little 
income of her own; and, strengthened by these re- 
membrances, he endeavoured to bear Mr. Crawley's 
attack with gallantry. 

'* Of course, Mr. Crawley, you are aware that this 
unfortunate affair at Silverbridge — — " 

" I am not prepared, sir, to discuss the unfortunate 
affair at Silverbridge with a stranger. If you are the 
bearer of any message to me from the bishop of Bar- 
chester, perhaps you will deliver it." 

" I have brought a letter," said Mr. Thimible. Then 
Mr. Crawley stretched out his hand without a word, 
and taking the letter with him to the window, read it 
very slowly. When he had made himself master of its 
contents, he refolded the letter, placed it again in the 
envelope, and returned to the spot where Mr. Thum- 
ble was standing. " I will answer the bishop's letter," 
he said ; " I will answer it of course, as it is fitting that 
I should do. Shall I ask you to wait for my reply, or 
shall I send it by course of post ? " 

" I think, Mr. Crawley, as the bishop wishes me to 
undertake the duty " 



\ 



lyO THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

"You will not undertake the duty, Mr. Thumble. 
You need not trouble yourself, for I shall not surren- 
der my pulpit to you." 

" But the bishop " 

" I care nothing for the bishop in this matter." So 
much he spoke in anger, and then he corrected himself. 
" I crave the bishop's pardon, and yours as his mes- 
senger, if in the heat occasioned by my strong feelings 
I have said aught which may savour of irreverence 
towards his lordship's office. I respect his lordship's 
high position as bishop of this diocese, and I bow to his 
commands in all things lawful. But I must not bow to 
him in things unlawful, nor must I abandon my duty 
before God at his bidding, imless his bidding be given 
in accordance with the canons of the Church and the 
laws of the land. It will be my duty, on the coming 
Sunday, to lead the prayers of my people in the church 
of my parish, and to preach to them from my pulpit ; 
and that duty, with God's assistance, I will perform. 
Nor will I allow any clergyman to interfere with me 
in the performance of those sacred offices, — no, not 
though the bishop himself should be present with the 
object of enforcing his illegal command." Mr. Craw- 
ley spoke these words without hesitation, even with 
eloquence, standing upright, and with something of a 
noble anger gleaming over his poor wan face ; and I 
think, that while speaking them, he was happier than 
he had been for many a long day. 

Mr. Thumble listened to him patiently, standing with 
one foot a little in advance of the other, with one hand 
folded over the other, with his head rather on one side, 
and with his eyes fixed on the comer where the wall 
and ceiling joined each other. He had been told to be 



THE bishop's angel. 17 1 

firm, and he was considering how he might best dis- 
play firmness. He thought that he remembered some 
story of two pairsons fighting for one pulpit, and he 
thought also that he should not himself hke to incur 
the scandal of such a proceeding in the diocese. As 
to the law in the matter he knew nothing himself ; but 
he presumed that a bishop would probably know the 
law better than a perpetual curate. That Mrs. Proudie 
was intemperate and imperious, he was aware. Had 
the message come from her alone, he might have felt 
that even for her sake he had better give way. But as 
the despotic arrogance of the lady had been in this 
case backed by the timid presence and hesitating 
words of her lord, Mr. Thumble thought that he must 
have the law on his side. " I think you will find, Mr. 
Crawley," said he, "that the bishop's inhibition is 
strictly legal." He had picked up the powerful word 
from Mrs. Proudie, and flattered himself that it might 
be of use to him in carrying his purpose. 

" It is illegal," said Mr. Crawley, speaking somewhat 
louder than before, "and will be absolutely futile. 
As you pleaded to me that you yourself and your 
own personal convenience were concerned in this mat- 
ter, I have made known my intentions to you, which 
otherwise I should have made known only to the 
bishop. If you please, we will discuss the subject no 
further." 

" Am I to understand, Mr. Crawley, that you refuse 
to obey the bishop ? " 

".The bishop has written to me, sir ; and I will make 
known my intention to the bishop by a written answer. 
As you have been the bearer of the bishop's letter 
to me, I am bound to ask you whether I shall be 



173 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

indebted to you for carrying back my reply, or whether 
I shall send it by course of post ? " Mr. Thumble con- 
sidered for a moment, and then made up his mind that 
he had better wait, and carry back the epistle. This 
was Friday, and the letter could not be delivered by 
post till the Saturday morning. Mrs. Proudie might 
be angry with him if he should be the cause of loss 
of time. He did not, however, at all like waiting, hav- 
ing perceived that Mr. Crawley, though with language 
cautiously worded, had spoken of him as a mere mes- 
senger. 

" I think,** he said, " that I may, perhaps, best further 
the object which we must all have in view, that namely 
of providing properly for the Sunday services of the 
church of Hogglestock, by taking your reply personally 
to the bishop." 

" That provision is my care, and need trouble no one 
else," said Mr. Crawley, in a loud voice. Then, be- 
fore seating himself at his old desk, he stood awhile^ 
pondering, with his back turned to his visitor. " I have 
to ask your pardon, sir,** said he, looking round for 
a moment, " because, by reason of the extreme poverty 
of this house, my wife is unable to offer to you that 
hospitality which is especially due from one clergyman 
to another.*' 

Oh, don't mention it," said Mr. Thumble. 
If you will allow me, sir, I would prefer that it 
should be mentioned." Then he seated himself at his 
desk, and commenced his letter. 

Mr. Thumble felt himself to be awkwardly placed. 
Had there been no third person in the room he could 
have sat down in Mr. Crawley's arm-chair, and waited 
patiently till the letter should be finished. But Mrs. 






THC bishop's AKGSL. 1 73 

Crawley was there, and of course he was bound to 
speak to her. In what strain could he do so ? Even 
he, little as he was given to indulge in sentiment, had 
been touched by the man's appeal to his own poverty, 
and he felt, moreover, that Mrs. Crawley must have 
been deeply moved by her husband's position with ref- 
erence to the bishop's order. It was quite out of the 
question that he should speak of that, as Mr. Crawley 
would, he was well aware, immediately turn upon him. 
At last he thought of a subject, and spoke with a voice 
intended to be pleasant. 

" That was the schoolhouse I passed, probably, just 
as I came here ? " Mrs. Crawley told him that it was 
the schoolhouse. "Ah, yes, I thought so. Have you a 
certified teacher here ? " Mrs. Crawley explained that 
no government aid had ever reached Hogglestock. 
Besides themselves, they had only a young woman 
whom they themselves had instructed. " Ah, that is 
a pity," said Mr. Thumble. 

" I) — ^I am the certified teacher," said Mr. Crawley, 
turning round upon him from his chair. 

" Oh, ah, yes," said Mr. Thumble ; and after that 
Mr. Thumble asked no more questions about the Hog- 
glestock school Soon afterwards Mrs. Crawley left 
the room, seeing the difiiculty under which Mr. Thum- 
ble was labouring and feeling sure that her presence 
would not now be necessary. Mr. Crawley's letter was 
written quickly, though every now and then he would 
sit for a moment with his pen poised in the air, search, 
ing his memory for a word. But the words came 
to him easily, and before an hour was over he had 
handed his letter to Mr. Thumble. The letter was as 
follows: 



174 ^HE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

** The Parsonage, Hogglestock, Dec. i86 — . 

" Right Reverend Lord, — 1 have received the letter 
of yesterday's date which your lordship has done me 
the honour of sending to me by the hands of the Rev- 
erend Mr. Thumble, and I avail myself of that gentle- 
man's kindness to return to you an answer by the same 
means, moved thus to use his patience chiefly by the 
consideration that in this way my reply to your lord- 
ship's injunctions may be in your hands With less delay 
than would attend the regular course of the mail-post. 

" It is with deep regret that I feel myself constrained 
to inform your lordship that I cannot obey the com- 
mand which you have laid upon me with reference 
to the services of my church in this parish. I cannot 
permit Mr. Thumble, or any other delegate from your 
lordship, to usurp my place in my pulpit. I would not 
have you to think, if I can possibly dispel such thoughts 
from your mind, that I disregard your high office, or 
that I am deficient in that respectful obedience to the 
bishop set over me which is due to the authority of the 
Crown as the head of the church in these realms ; but 
in this, as in all questions of obedience, he who is re- 
quired to obey must examine the extent of the authority 
exercised by him who demands obedience. Your lord- 
ship might possibly call upon me, using your voice as 
bishop of the diocese, to abandon altogether the free- 
hold rights which are now mine in this perpetual curacy. 
The judge of assize, before whom I shall soon stand 
for my trial, might command me to retire to prison 
without a verdict given by the jury. The magistrates 
who committed me so lately as yesterday, upon whose 
decision in that respect your lordship has taken action 
against me so quickly, might have equally strained their 



THE bishop's angel. 1 75 

authority. But in no case, in this land, is he that is 
subject bound to obey, fiuther than where the law 
gives authority and exacts obedience. It is not in the 
power of the Crown itself to inhibit me from the per- 
formance of my ordinary duties in this parish by any 
such missive as that sent to me by your lordship. If 
your lordship think it right to stop my mouth as a 
clergyman in your diocese, you must proceed to do so 
in an ecclesiastical court in accordance with the laws, 
and will succeed in your object, or fail, in accordance 
with the evidences as to ministerial fitness or unfitness, 
which may be produced respecting me before the 
proper tribunal. 

" I will allow that much attention is due from a 
clerg3anan to pastoral advice given to him by his 
bishop. On that head I must first express to your 
lordship my full understanding that your letter has not 
been intended to convey advice, but an order; — an 
inhibition, as your messenger, the Reverend Mr. Thiun- 
ble, has expressed it. There might be a case certainly 
in which I should submit myself to counsel, though I 
should resist command. No counsel, however, has 
been given, — except indeed that I should receive your 
messenger in a proper spirit, which I hope I have done. 
No other advice has been given me, and therefore there 
is now no such case as that I have imagined. But in 
this matter, my lord, I could not have accepted advice 
from Hying man, no, not though the hands of the 
apostles themselves had made him bishop who tendered 
it to me, and had set him over me for my guidance. 
I am in a terrible strait. Trouble, and sorrow, and 
danger are upon me and mine. It may well be, as 
your lordship sa3rs, that the bitter waters of the present 



i 



176 THE LAST CHRONICLE OP BARSET. 

hour may pass over my head and destroy me. I thank 
your lordship for telling me whither I am to look for 
assistance. Truly I know not whether there is any to 
be found for me on earth. But the deeper my troubles, 
the greater my sorrow, the more pressing my danger, 
the stronger is my need that I should carry myself in 
these days with that outward respect of self which will 
teach tho^e around me to know that, let who will con- 
demn me, I have not condemned m5rself. Were I to 
abandon my pulpit, unle.ss forced to do so by legal 
means, I should in doing so be putting a plea of guilty 
against myself upon the record. This, my lord, I will 
not do. 

" I have the honour to he, my lord, 

'' Your lordship's most obedient servant, 

'*JosiAH Crawley." 

When he had finished writing his letter he read it 
over slowly, and then handed it to Mr. Thumble. The 
act of writing, and the current of the thoughts through 
his brain, and the feeling that in every word written he 
was getting the better of the bishop, — ^all this joined to 
a certain manly delight in warfare against authority, 
lighted up the man's face and gave to his eyes an ex- 
pression which had been long wanting to them. His 
wife at that moment came into the room, and he looked 
at her with an air of triumph as he handed the letter 
to Mr. Thumble. " If you will give that to his lordship 
with an assurance of my duty to his lordship in all 
things proper, I will thank you kindly, craving your 
pardon for the great delay to which you have been 
subjected." 

" As to the delay, that is nothing," said Mr. Thumble. 



THE bishop's angel. 1 77 

" It has been much ; but you as a clergyman will 
feel that it has been incumbent on me to speak my mind 
fuUy." 

" Oh, yes ; of course." Mr. Crawley was standing 
up, as also was Mrs. Crawley. It was evident to Mr. 
Thumble that they both expected that he should go. 
But he had been specially enjoined to be firm, and he 
doubted whether hitherto he had been firm enough. 
As far as this morning's work had as yet gone, it 
seemed to him that Mr. Crawley had had the play all 
to himself, and that he, Mr. Thumble, had not had his 
innings. He, from the palace, had been, as it were, 
cowed by this man who had been forced to plead his 
own poverty. It was certainly incumbent upon him, 
before he went, to speak up, not only for the bishop, 
but for himself also. " Mr. Crawley," he said, " hitherto 
I have listened to you patiently." 

" Nay," said Mr. Crawley, smiling, " you have indeed 
been patient, and I thank you ; but my words have 
been written, not spoken." 

" You have told me that you intend to disobey the 
bishop's inhibition." 

I have told the bishop so certainly." 
May I ask you now to listen to me for a few min- 
utes? " 

Mr. Crawley, still smiling, still having in his eyes 
the unwonted triumph which had lighted them up, 
paused a moment, and then answered him. " Rever- 
end sir, you must excuse me if I say no, — not on this 
subject." 

" You will not let me speak ? " 

" No ; not on this matter, which is very private to 

me. What should you think if I went-into yoiur house 
VOL. I. — 12 



€4 



17S THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

and inquired of you as to those things which were par- 
ticularly near to you ? " 

*' But the bishop sent me." 

'' Though ten bishops had sent you^ — a council of 
archbishops if you wiH! " Mr. Thumble started back^ 
appalled at the energy of the words used to him. 
" Shall a man have nothing of his own ; — ^no sorrow in 
his heart, no care in his family, no thought in his breast 
so private and special to him, but that, if he happen 
to be a clergyman, the l»shop may touch it with his 
thumb ? " 

" I am not the bishop's thumb," said Mr. Thumble, 
drawing himself up. 

" I intended not to hint anything personally objec- 
tionable to yourself. I will regard you as one of the 
angels of the church." Mr. Thumble^ when he heard 
this, began to be sure that Mr. Crawley was mad ; he 
knew of no angels that could ride about the Barsetshire 
lanes on grey ponies. " And as such I will respect you ; 
but I cannot discuss with you the matter of the bishop's 
message." 

" Oh, very weU. I will tell his lordship." 

" I will pray you to do so." 

" And his k»:dship, should he so decide^ will arm me 
with such power on my next coming as will enable me 
to carry out his lordship's wishes*" 

" His lordship will abide by the law, — as will you 
also." In speaking these last words he stood with the 
door in his hand, and Mr. Thumble, not knowing how 
to increase or even to maintain his firmness, thought 
it best to pass out, and mount his grey pony and ride 
away. 

" The poor man thought, that you were laughing at 



THE bishop's angel. 179 

him when you called him an angel of the church/' said 
Mrs. Crawley, coming up to him and smiling on him. 
" Had I told him he was simply a messenger, he 
would have taken it worse! Poor fool! When they 
have rid themselves of me they may put him here, in 
my church ; but not yet, — ^not yet. Where is Jane ? 
Tell her that I am ready to commence the Seven 
against Thebes with her." Then Jane was immediately 
sent for out of the school, and the Seven against 
Thebes was commenced with great energy. Often 
during the next hour and a half Mis. Crawley from 
the kitchen would hear him reading out, or rather say- 
ing by rote, with sonorous, rolling voice, great passages 
from, some chorus^ and she was very thankful to the 
bishop who had sent ovtar to them a message and a 
messenger which had been so salutary in their effect 
upon her husband. " In truth an angel of the church," 
she said to herself as she chopped up the onions for 
the mutton broth; and ever afterwards. she regarded 
Mr. Thumble as an '^ angel.** 



CHAPTER XIV. 

MAJOR GRANTLY CONSULTS A FRIEND. 

Grace Crawley passed through Silverbridge on her 
way to AUington on the Monday, and on the Tuesday 
morning Major Grantly received a very short note from 
Miss Prettyman, telling him that she had done so. 

" Dear Sir, — I think you will be glad to learn that our 
friend Miss Crawley went from us yesterday on a visit 
to her friend, Miss Dale, at AUington. 

" Yoiurs truly, . 

"Annabella Prettyman." 

The note said no more than that. Major Grantly was 
glad to get it, obtaining from it that satisfaction which a 
man always feels when he is presumed to be concerned in 
the affairs of a lady with whom he is in love. And he re- 
garded Miss Prettyman with favourable eyes, — as a dis- 
creet and friendly woman. Nevertheless, he was not 
altogether happy. The very fact that Miss Prettyman 
should write to him on such a subject made him feel that 
he was bound to Grace Crawley. He knew enough of 
himself to be sure that he could not give her up with- 
out making himself miserable. And yet, as regarded 
her father, things were going from bad to worse. 
Everybody now said that the evidence was so strong 
against Mr. Crawley as to leave hardly a doubt of his 

i8o 



MAJOR GRANTLY CONSULTS A FRIEND. l8l 

guilt. Even the ladies in Silverbridge were beginning 
to give up his cause, acknowledging that the money 
could not have come rightfully into his hands, and ex- 
cusing him on the plea of partial insanity. '' He has 
picked it up and put it by for months, and then thought 
that it was his own." The ladies of Silverbridge could 
find nothing better to say for him than that ; and when 
young Mr. Walker remarked that such little mistakes 
were the customary causes of men being taken to prison, 
the ladies of Silverbridge did not know how to answer 
him. It had come to be their opinion that Mr. Crawley 
was affected widi a partial lunacy, which ought to be 
forgiven in one to whom the world had been so cruel ; 
and when young Mr. Walker endeavoured to explain 
to them that a man must be sane altogether or mad 
altogether, and that Mr. Crawley must, if sane, be 
locked up as a thief, and if mad, locked up as a mad- 
man, they sighed, and were convinced that until the 
world should have been improved by a new infusion 
of romance and a stronger feeling of poetic justice, 
Mr. John Walker was right. 

And the result of this general opinion made its way 
out to Major Grantly, and made its way, also, to the 
archdeacon at Plumstead. As to the major, in giving 
him his due, it must be explained that the more certain 
he became of the father's guilt, the more certain also 
he became of the daughter's merits. It was very hard, 
llie whole thing was cruelly hard. It was cruelly hard 
upon him that he should be brought into this trouble 
and be forced to take upon himself the armour of a 
knight-errant for the redress of the wrong on the part 
of the young lady. But when alone in his house, or 
with his child, he declared to himself that he would do 



l8» THS LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

SO. It might well be that he could not live in Barset- 
shire after he had married Mr. Crawley's daughter. 
He had inherited from his father enough of that long- 
ing for ascendancy among those around him to make 
him feel that in such circumstances he would be 
wretched. But he would be made more wretched by 
the self-knowledge that he had behaved badly to the 
girl he loved ; and the world beyond Barsetshire was 
open to him. He would take her with him to Canada, 
to New Z^and, or to some other far-away country, 
and there begin his life again. Should his father choose 
to punish him for so doing by disinheriting him, they 
would be poor enough ; but in his present frame of 
mind, the major was able to regard such poverty as 
honourable and not altogether disagreeable. 

He had been out shooting all day at Chaldicotes, 
with Dr. Thome and a party who were sta3ring in the 
house there, and had been talking about Mr. Crawley, 
first with one man and then with another. Lord Luf- 
ton had been there, and young Gresham from Gresh- 
amsbury, and Mr. Robarts the clergyman, and news 
had come among them of the attempt made by the 
bishop to stop Mr. Crawley from preaching. Mr. 
Robarts had been of opinion that Mr. Crawley should 
have given way; and Lord Lufton, who shared his 
mother's intense dislike of everything that came from 
the palace, had sworn that he was right to resist The 
sympathy of die whole party had been with Mr. 
Crawley ; — ^but they had all agreed that he had stolen 
the money. 

" I fear he '11 have to give way to the bishop at 
last," Lord Lufton had said. 

'* And what on earth will become of his children ? '^ 



MAJOR GRANTLV COKSULTS A J-RIEKD. 183 

said the doctor. "Think erf the fate of that pretty 
girl ; for she is a very pretty girL It will be ruin to 
her. No man will allow himself to fall in love with 
her when her father shall have been found guilty of 
stealing a cheque for twenty poimds." 

" We must do something for the whole family,'* said 
die lord. " I say, Thome, you have n't half the game 
here that there used to be in poor old Sowerby's time.*' 

" Have n't I ? " said the doctor. " You see Sowerby 
had been at it all his days, and never did anything else. 
I only began late in life." 

The major had intended to stay and dine at Chaldi- 
cotes, but when he heard what was said about Grace, 
his heart became sad^ and he made some excuse as 
to hb chfld, and returned home. Dr, Thome had de- 
clared that no man could allow himself to fall in love 
vMi her. But what if a man had fallen in love with 
her beforehand ? What if a man had not only fallen 
in love, but spoken of his love P Had he been alone 
with the doctor, he would, I think, have told him the 
whole of his trouble ; for in all the county there was 
no man whom he would sooner have trusted with his 
secret TTiis Dr. Thome was known far and wide for 
his soft heart, his open hand, and his welUsustained 
indiffierence to die world's opinions on most of those 
social matters with which the world meddles; and 
therefore the words which he had spoken had more 
weight with Major Grantly than they would have had 
from other lips. As he drove home he almost made 
up his mind that he would consult Dr. Thome upon 
the matter. There were many younger men with 
whom he was very intimate, — Frank Gresham, for 
instance, and Lord Lufton himself ; but this was an 



184 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

affair which he hardly knew how to discuss with a 
young man. To Dr. Thome he thought that he could 
bring himself to tell the whole story. 

In the evening there came to him a messenger from 
Plumstead, with a letter from his father and some pres- 
ent for the child. He knew at once that the present 
had been thus sent as an excuse for the letter. His 
father might have written by the post, of course ; but 
that would have given to his letter a certain air and 
tone which he had not wished it to bear. After some 
message from the major's mother, and some allusion 
to Edith, the archdeacon struck off upon the matter 
that was near his heart. 

" I fear it is all up with that unfortimate man at 
Hogglestock," he said. " From what I hear of the 
evidence which came out before the magistrates, there 
can, I think, be no doubt as to his guilt. Have you 
heard that the bishop sent over on the following day 
to stop him from preaching ? He did so, and sent 
again on the Sunday. But Crawley would not give 
way, and so far I respect the man ; for as a matter of 
course, whatever the bishop did, or attempted to do, 
he would do with an extreme of bad taste, probably 
with gross ignorance as to his own duty and as to the 
duty of the man under him. I am told that on the 
first day Crawley turned out of l&s house the messen- 
ger sent to him, — some stray clergyman whom Mrs. 
Proudie keeps about the house ; and that on the Sun- 
day the stairs to the reading-desk and pulpit were 
occupied by a lot of brickmakers, among whom the 
parson from Barchester did not venture to attempt to 
make his way, although he was fortified by the pres- 
ence of one of the cathedral vergers and by one of the 



MAJOR GRANTLY CONSULTS A FRIEND. 1 85 

palace footmen. I can hardly believe about the verger 
and the footman. As for the rest, I have no doubt 
it is all true. I pity Crawley from my heart. Poor, 
unfortunate man! The general opinion seems to be 
that he is not in truth responsible for what he has 
done. As for his victory over the bishop, nothing on 
earth could be better. 

" Your mother particularly wishes you to come over 
to us before the end of the week, and to bring Edith. 
Your grandfather will be here, and he is becoming so 
infirm that he will never come to us for another Christ- 
mas. Of course you will stay over the new year." 

Though the letter was full of Mr. Crawley and his 
affairs, there was not a word in it about Grace. This, 
however, was quite natural. Major Grantly perfectly 
well understood his father's anxiety to carry his point 
without seeming to allude to the disagreeable subject. 
" My father is very clever," he said to himself, " very 
clever. But he is n*t so clever but one can see how 
clever he is." 

On the next day he went into Silverbridge, intending 
to call on Miss Prettyman. He had not quite made 
up his mind what he would say to Miss Prettyman ; 
nor was he called upon to do so, as he never got as 
far as that lady's house. While walking up the High 
Street he saw Mrs. Thome in her carriage, and, as a 
matter of course, he stopped to speak to her. He 
knew Mrs. Thome quite as intimately as he did her 
husband, and liked her quite as well. "Major 
Grantly," she said, speaking out loud to him, half 
across the street ; " I was very angry with you yester- 
day. Why did you not come up to dinner ? We had 
a room ready for you and everything." 



1 86 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF EARSET. 

** I was not quite well, Mrs. ThOTne." 

''Fiddlestick! I>oii't tell me of not being well 
There was Emily breaking her heart about jovl.** 

" I 'm sure Miss Dunstable " 

"To tell you the truA, I thmk she '11 get over it. 
It won't be mortal with her. But do tell me, Major 
Grantly, what are we to think about this poor Mr. Craw- 
ley ? It was so good of you to be one of his bailmen." 

" He would have found twenty in Silverbridge, if he 
had wanted them." 

*' And do you hear that he has defied the bishop ? 
I do so like him for that. Not but what poor Mrs. 
Proudie is the dearest friend I have in the world, and 
I 'm always fighting a battle with old Lady Lufton on 
her behalf. But one likes to see one's friends worsted 
sometimes, you know." 

" I don't quite understand what did happen at Hog- 
glestock on Sunday," said the major. 

" Some say he had the bishop's chaplain put under 
the pump. I don't believe that ; but there is no doubt 
that when the poor fellow tried to get into the pulpit, 
they took him and carried him neck and heels out of 
the church. But tell me. Major Grantly, what is to 
become of the family ? " 

" Heaven knows! " 

*^ Is it not sad ? And diat eldest giil is so nice ! 
They tell me that she is perfect,— not only in beauty, 
but in manners and accomplishments. Everybody 
says that she talks Greek just as well as she does Eng- 
lish, and that she understands philosophy from the top 
to the bottom." 

" At any rate, she is so good and so lovely that one 
cannot but pity her now," said the major.. 



tt 



ICAJOR GEAMTLY CONSULTS A FRIXBO). tij 

" You know her, then, Major Grandy ? By-the-bye, 
of comse you do, as you were staying with her at 
Fimmley/' 

Yes, I know her." 

What is to become of her ? I 'm going your way. 
You might as well get into the caniage, and I 'U drive 
you home. If he is sent to prison, — and they say he 
must be sent to prison, — ^what is to become of them ? " 
Then Major Grandy did get into the caniage, and, 
before he got out again, he had told Mis. Th<»ne the 
whole story of his love. 

She listened to him with the closest attention ; only 
interrupting him now and then with litde words, 
intended to signify her approval He, as he told his 
tale, did not look her in the face, but sat with his eyes 
fixed xxpoD. her muff. " And now," he said, g^ncing 
up at her almost for the first time as he finished his 
speech, " and now, Mrs. Thome, what am I to do ? " 

" Mairy her, of course," said she, imising her hand 
aloft and bringing it down heavily upon his knee as 
she gave her decisive reply. 

" H — sh — ^h," he exclaimed, looking back in dismay 
towards the servants. 

" Oh, they never hear anjrthing up there. They *re 
thinking about the last pot of porter diey had, or the 
next diey 're to get Deary me, I am so gladl Of 
course you 'U marry her." 

" You forget my fadier." 

" No, I don't What has a father to do with it ? 
You 're old enough to please yourself without asking 
any father. Besides, Lord bless me, the archdeacon 
is n't the man to bear malice. He '11 storm and 
threaten and stop the supplies for a month or so. 



4t 
it 



X88 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Then he *11 double them, and take your wife to his 
bosom, and kiss her and bless her, and all that kind 
of thing. We all know what parental wrath means 
in such cases as that." 

But my sister " 

As for your sister, don't talk to me about her. I 
don't care two straws about your sister. You must 
excuse me. Major Grantly, but Lady Hartletop is 
really too big for my powers of vision." 

" And Edith,-— of course, Mrs. Thome, I can't be 
blind to the fact that in many ways such a marriage 
would be injurious to her. No man wishes to be con- 
nected with a convicted thief." 

" No, Major Grantly ; but a man does wish to marry 
the girl that he loves. At least, I suppose so. And 
what man ever was able to give a more touching proof 
of his affection than you can do now ? If I were you, 
I 'd be at AUington before twelve o'clock to-morrow, 
— I would indeed. What does it matter about the 
trumpery cheque ? Everybody knows it was a mistake, 
if he did take it. And surely you would not punish 
her for that." 

" No, — ^no ; but I don't suppose she 'd think it a 
punishment" 

"You go and ask her, then. And I '11 tell you 
what. If she has n't a house of her own to be married 
from, she shall be married from Chaldicotes. We '11 
have such a breakfast! And I '11 make as much of 
her as if she were the daughter of my old friend the 
bishop himself ; — I will indeed." 

This was Mrs. Thome's advice. Before it was com- 
pleted, Major Grantly had been carried half-way to 
Chaldicotes. When he left his impetuous friend he 



MAJOR GRANTLY CONSULTS A FRIEND. 189 

was too prudent to make any promise, but he declared 
that what she had said should have much weight with 
him. 

You won't mention it to anybody ? ** said the major. 

Certainly not. without your leave," said Mrs. 
Thome. " Don't you know that I 'm the soul of 
honour ? " 



4t 
it 



CHAPTER XV. 

I 

UP IN LONDON. 

Some kind and attentive reader may perhaps re- 
member that Miss Grace Crawley, in a letter written 
by her to her friend Miss Lily Dale, said a word or 
two of a certain John. " If it can only be as John 
wishes it!'' And the same reader, if there be one so 
kind and attentive, may also remember that Miss Lily 
Dale had declared, in reply, that "about that other 
subject she would rather say nothing," — and then she 
had added, " When one thinks of going beyond friend- 
ship, — ^if one tries to do so, — there are so many bar- 
riers!" From which words the kind and attentive 
reader, if such reader be in such matters intelligent as 
well as kind and attentive, may have learned a great 
deal with reference to Miss Lily Dale. 

We will now pay a visit to die John in question, — 
a certain Mr. John Eames, living in London, a bach- 
elor, as the intelligent reader will certainly have 
discovered, and cousin to Miss Grace Crawley. Mr. 
John Eames at the time of our story was a young man, 
some seven or eight and twenty years of age, living in 
London, where he was supposed by his friends in the 
country to have made his mark, and to be something 
a little out of the common way. But I do not know 
that he was very much out of the common way, except 

in the fact that he had had some few thousand pounds 

I go 



UP I2f LOUDON. 191 

ief t him by an old nobleman, who had been in no way 
related to him ; but who had regarded him with great 
aSectkm, and who had died some two years since. 
Before this, John Eames had not been a very poor 
man, as he filled the comfortable official position of 
private secretary to the Chief Commissioiner ol the 
Income*tax Board, and drew a salary of three hundred 
and fifty pounds a year from the resources of hm 
country ; but when, in addition to this source of official 
wealth, he became known as the undoubted possessor 
of a hundred and twenty-eight shares in cnne of the 
most prosperous joint-stock banks in the metrc^>olis, 
which property had been left to him free of legacy 
duty by the lamented nobleman abored named, then 
Mn John £ames rose very high indeed a» a young 
man in the estimation of those who knew him, and wa& 
supposed to be something a good deal out of the com* 
mon way. His mother, who Mved in the country, was 
obedient to his slightest word, never venturing to im- 
pose upon him any sign of parental authority ; and to 
his sister, Mary Eames, who lived with hor mother, he 
was almost a god upon earth. To sisters who have 
nothing of their own, — ^not even some special god for 
their own individual worship, — ^generous, affectimiate, 
unmarried brothers, with sufficient incomes, are gods 
upon earth. 

And even up in London Mr. John Eames was some- 
body. He was so especially at his office ; although, 
indeed, it was remembered by many a man how raw a 
lad he had been when he first came there, not so very 
many years ago ; and how they had laughed at him 
and played him tricks ; and how he had customarily 
been known to be without a shilling for the last week 



192 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

before pay-day, during which period he would borrow 
sixpence here and a shilling there with great energy, 
from men who now felt themselves to be honoured 
when he smiled upon them. Little stories of his former 
days would often be told of him behind his back ; but 
they were not told with ill-nature, because he was very 
constant in referring to the same matters himself. And 
it was acknowledged by every one at the office, that 
neither the friendship of the nobleman, nor the fact of 
the private secretaryship, nor the acquisition of his 
Wealth, had made him proud to his old companions or 
forgetful of old friendships. To the young men, lads 
who had lately been appointed, he was perhaps a little 
cold ; but then it was only reasonable to conceive that 
such a one as Mr. John Eames was now could not be 
expected to make an intimate acquaintance with every 
new clerk that might be brought into the office. Since 
competitive examinations had come into vogue there 
was no knowing who might be introduced ; and it was 
tinderstood generally through the establishment, — and 
I may almost say by the civil service at large, so wide 
was his fame, — that Mr^ Eames was very averse to the 
whole theory of competition. The "Devil take the 
hindmost " scheme, he called it ; and would then go on 
to explain that hindmost candidates were often the best 
gentlemen, and that, in this way, the Devil got the pick 
of the flock. And he was respected the more for this 
opinion, because it was known that on this subject he 
had fought some hard battles with the chief commis- 
sioner. The chief commissioner was a great believer 
ki competition, wrote papers about it, which he read 
aloud to varibus bodies of the civil service, — ^not at all 
to their delight, — which he got to be printed here and 



UP IN LONDON. X93 

there, and which he sent by post all over the kingdom. 
More than once this chief commissioner had told his 
private secretary that they must part company miless 
the private secretary could see fit to alter his view, or 
could, at least, keep his views to himself. But the 
private secretary would do neither ; and, nevertheless, 
there he was, still private secretary. '* It 's because 
Johnny has got money," said one of the young clerks, 
who was discussing this singular state of things with 
his brethren at the office. "When a chap has got 
money, he may do what he likes. Johnny has got lots 
of money, you know." The young clerk in question 
was by no means on intimate terms with Mr. Eames, 
but there had grown up in the office a way of calling 
him Johnny behind his back, which had probably 
come down firom the early days of his scrapes, and his 
poverty. 

Now the entire life of Mr. John Eames was pervaded 
by a great secret; and although he never, in those 
days, alluded to the subject in conversation with any 
man belonging to the office, yet the secret was known 
to them all. It had been historical for the last four 
or five years, and was now regarded as a thing of 
course. Mr. John Eames was in love, and his love 
was not happy. He was in love, and had long been 
in love, and the lady of his love was not kind to him. 
The little history had grown to be very touching and 
pathetic, having received, no doubt, some embellish- 
ments from the imaginations of the gentlemen of the 
Income-tax Office. It was said of him that he had 
been in love from his early boyhood, that at sixteen he 
had been engaged, under the sanction of the nobleman 
now deceased and of the young lady's parents, that 

VOL. I. — 13 



194 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

contracts of betrothals had been drawn up, and things 
done very unusual in private families in these days, and 
that then there had come a stranger into the neigh- 
bourhood just as the young lady was beginning to 
reflect whether she had a heart of her own or not, and 
that she had thrown her parents, and the noble lord, 
and the contract, and poor Johnny Eames to the 

winds, and had . Here the story took different 

directions as told by different men. Some said that 
the lady had gone off with the stranger, and that there 
had been a clandestine marriage, which afterwards 
turned out to be no marriage at all ; others, that the 
stranger suddenly took himself off, and was no more 
seen by the young lady ; others, that he owned at last 
to having another wife, — and so on. The stranger 
was very well known to be one Mr. Crosbie, belonging 
to another public office ; and there were circumstances 
in his life, only half known, which gave rise to these 
various rumours. But there was one thing certain, one 
point as to which no clerk in the Income-tax Oflice 
had a doubt, one fact which had conduced much to 
the high position which Mr. John Eames now held in 
the estimation of his brother clerks, — he had given this 
Mr. Crosbie such a thrashing that no man had ever 
received such treatment before and had lived through 
it. Wonderful stories were told about that thrashing, 
so that it was believed, even by the least enthusiastic 
in such matters, that the poor victim had only dragged 
on a crippled existence since the encounter. "For 
nine weeks he never said a word nor eat a mouthful,** 
said one young clerk to a younger clerk who was just 
entering the office; "and even now he can't speak 
above a whisper, and has to take all his food in pap." 



UP IN LONDON. 195 

It will be seen, therefore, that Mr. John Eames had 
about him much of the heroic. 

That he was still in love, and in love with the same 
lady, was known to every one in the office. When 
it was declared of him that in the way of amatory 
expressions he had never in his life opened his mouth 
to another woman, there were those in the office who 
knew that this was an exaggeration. Mr. Cradell, for 
instance, who in his early years had been very intimate 
with John Eames, and who still kept up the old 
friendship, — although, being a domestic man, with a 
wife and six young children, and living on a small in- 
come, he did not go out much among his friends, — 
cduld have told a very different story ; for Mrs. Cradell 
herself had, in days before Cradell had made good his 
claim upon her, been not imadmired by CradelFs fel- 
low-clerk. But the constancy of Mr. Eames's present 
love was doubted by none who knew him. It was 
not that he went about with his stockings ungartered, 
or any of the old acknowledged signs of unrequited 
affection. In his manner he was rather jovial than 
otherwise, and seemed to live a happy, somewhat lux- 
urious life, well contented with himself and the world 
around him. But still he had this passion within his 
bosom, and I am inclined to think that he was a little 
proud of his own constancy. 

It might be presumed that when Miss Dale wrote 
to her friend Grace Crawley about going beyond 
friendship, pleading that there were so many "bar- 
riers," she had probably seen her way over most of 
them. But this was not so; nor did John Eames 
himself at all believe that the barriers were in a way 
to be overcome. I will not say that he had given the 



«9^ THE LAST CHRbNICLE OF BARSET. 

whole thing up as a bad job, because it was the law 
of his life that the thing never should be abandoned as 
long as hope was possible. Unless Afiss Dale should 
become the wife of somebody else, he would always 
regard himself as affianced to her. He had so de« 
clared to Miss Dale herself and to Miss Dale's mother 
and to all the Dale people who had ever been inter- 
ested in the matter. And there was an old lady living 
in Miss Dade's neighbourhood, the sister of the lord 
who had left Johnny Eames the bank shares, who al- 
ways fought his batdes for him, and kept a dose look- 
out, fuUy resolved that John £ames should be rewaided 
at last. This old lady was connected with the Dales 
by family ties, and therefore had means of close ob- 
servation. She was in constant correspondence with 
John Eames, and never failed to acquaint him when 
any of the barriers were, in her judgment, giving way. 
The nature of some of the barriers may possibly be 
made intelligible to my readers by the following letter 
from Lady Julia De Guest to her young friend : 

" Guestwidc Cottage, I>ecember i86 — . 
" My dear John, — I am much obliged to you for 
going to Jones's. I send stamps for two shillings and 
fotupence, which is what I owe you. It used only 
to be two shillings and twopence, but they say 
everything has got to be dearer now, and I suppose 
pills as well as other things. Only think of Pritchard 
coming to me, and sapng she wanted her wages raised, 
after living with me for twenty years! I was very 
angry, and scolded her roundly ; but as she acknowl- 
edged she had been wrong, and cried and begged my 
pardon, I did give her two guineas a year more. 



UP IN LONDON. 197 

" I saw dear Lily just for a moment on Sunday^ and 
upon my word I think she grows prettier every year. 
She had a young friend with her, — a Miss Crawley, — 
who, I believe, is the cousin I have heard you speak 
of. What is this sad story about her father, the 
clergyman ? Mind you tell me all about it. 

"It is quite true what I told you about the De 
Courcys. Old Lady De Courcy is in London, and 
Mr. Crosbie is going to law with her about his wife's 
money. He has been at it in one way or the other 
ever since poor Lady Alexandrina died. I wish she 
had lived, with all my heart. For though I feel sure 
that our Lily will never willingly see him again, yet the 
tidings of her death disturbed her, and set her thinking 
of things that were fading from her mind. 1 rated her 
soundly, not mentioning your name, however ; but she 
only kissed me, and told me in her quiet drolling way 
that I did n't mean a word of what I said. 

" You can come here whenever you please after the 
tenth of January. But if you come early in January 
you must go to your mother first, and come to me for 
the last week of your holiday. Go to Blackie's in 
Regent Street, and bring me down all the colours in. 
wool that I ordered. I said you would calL And tell 
them at DoUand's the last spectacles don't suit at all, 
and I won't keep them« They had better send me 
down, by you, one or two more pairs to try. And you 
had better see Smithers and Smith,, in Lincoln's Inn 
Fields, No. 57 — ^but you have been there before, — and 
beg them to let nfte know how my poor dear brother's 
matters are to be settled at last. As far as I can see 
I shall be dead before I shall know what income I have 
got to spend. As to my cousins at the manor, I never 



198 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

see them ; and as to talking to them about business, I 
should not dream of it. She has n*t come to me since 
she first called, and she may be quite sure I shan't go 
to her till she does. Indeed I think we shall Like each 
other apart quite as much as we should together. So 
let me know when you 're coming, and pray don't 
forget to call at Blackie's ; nor yet at DoUand's, which 
is much more important than the wool because of my 
eyes getting so weak. But what I want you specially 
to remember is about Smithers and Smith. How is a 
woman to live if she does n't know how much she 
has got to spend ? 

Believe me to be, my dear John, 

Your most sincere friend, 

Julia De Guest." 



" X>CliCVC 

XUUl I 

n 



Lady Julia always directed her letters for her young 
friend to his office, and there he received the one now 
given to the reader. When he had read it he made a 
memorandum as to the commissions, and then threw 
himself back in his arm-chair to think over the tidings 
communicated to him. All the facts stated he had 
known before ; that Lady De Courcy was in London, 
and that her son-in-law, Mr. Crosbie, whose wife, — 
Lady Alexandrina, — ^had died some twelve months 
since at Baden Baden, was at variance with her re- 
specting money which he supposed to be due to him. 
But there was that in Lady Julia's letter which was 
wormwood to him. Lily Dale was again thinking of 
this man, whom she had loved in old days, and who 
had treated her with monstrous perfidy ! It was all 
very well for Lady Julia to be sure that Lily Dale 
would never desire to see Mr. Crosbie again ; but John 



UP IN LONDON. 199 

Eames was by no means equally certain that it would 
be so. " The tidings of her death disturbed her! " said 
Johnny, repeating to himself certain words out of the 
old lady's letter. " I know they disturbed me. I wish 
she could have lived for ever. If he ever ventures to 
show himself within ten miles of AUington, I '11 see if I 
cannot do better than I did the last time I met him! " 
Then there came a knock at the door, and the private 
secretary, finding himself to be somewhat annoyed by 
the disturbance at such a moment, bade the intruder 
enter in an angry voice. " Oh, it 's you, Cradell, is it ? 
What can I do for you ? " Mr. Cradell, who now en- 
tered, and who, as before said, was an old ally of John 
Eames, was a clerk of longer standing in the depart- 
ment than his friend. In age he looked to be much 
older, and there remained with him none of that 
appearance of the gloss of youth which will stick for 
many years to men who are fortunate in their worldly 
affairs. Indeed, it may be said that Mr. Cradell was 
almost shabby in his outward appearance, and his brow 
seemed to be laden with care, and his eyes were dull 
and heavy. 

" I thought I *d just come in and ask you how you 
are," said Cradell. 

" I 'm pretty well, thank you ; and how are you ? " 
" Oh, I 'm pretty well, — ^in health, that is. You see 
one has so many things to think of when one has a 
large family. Upon my word, Johnny, I think you Ve 
been lucky to ke^ out of it." 

" I have kept out of it, .at any rate ; have n't I ? " 
" Of course ; living with you as much as I used to 
do, I know the whole story of what has kept you 
single." 



it 



20O THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

*' Don't mind about that, Cradell. What is ft you 
want ? '' 

" I must n't let you suppose, Johnny, that I 'm 
grumbling about my lot. Nobody knows better than 
you what a trump I got in my wife.** 

" Of course you did ; — an excellent woman." 

" And if I cut you out a little there, I 'm sure jtm 
never felt malice against me for that.** 
Never for a moment, old fellow." 
We have all our own luck, you know." 

" Your luck has been a wife and family. My luck 
has been to be a bachelor." 

"You may say a family," said Cradell. " I 'm sure 
that Amelia does the best she can ; but we are des- 
perately pushed sometimes, — desperately pushed. I 
never was so bad, Johnny, as I am now.'* 

*' So you said the last time." 

" Did I ? I don't remember it. I did n't think I 
was so bad then. But, Johnny, if you can Jet me have 
one more fiver now I have made arrangements with 
Amelia how I 'm to pay you off by thirty shilKngs a 
month, — as I get my salary. Indeed I have. Ask 
her else." 

" I '11 be shot if I do." 

" Don't say that, Johnny." 

" It *s no good your Johnnying me, fOT I won't be 
Johnnyed out of another shilling. It comes too often, 
and there *s no reason why I should do it. And 
what 's more, I can't afford it. I *ve people of my 
own to help." 

" But oh, Johnny, we all know how comfortable you 
are. And I *m sure no one rejoiced as I did when 
the money was left to you. If it had ben myself I 






UP IN LONDON. 20 1 

could hardly have thought more of it. Upon my 
solemn word and honour if you '11 let me have it this 
time, it shall be the last.'' 

" Upon my word and honour then, I \^on't. There 
must be an end to everything." 

Although Mr. Cradell would probably, if pressed, 
have admitted the truth of this last assertion, he did 
not seem to think that the end had as yet eome to his 
friend's benevolence. It certainly had not come to 
his own importunity. " Don't say that, Johnny ; pray 
don't." 

But I do say it." 

When I told Amelia yesterday evening that I 
did n't like to go to you again, because of course a 
man has feelings, she told me to mention her name. 
' I 'm sure he 'd do it for my sake,' she said." 
I don't believe she said anything of the kind." 
Upon my word she did. You ask her." 
And if she did, she ought n't to have said it." 
*'Oh, Johnny, don't speak in that way of her. 
She 's my wife, and you know what your own feelings 
were once. But look here, — we arc in that state at 
home at this moment, that I must get money some- 
where before I go home. I must, indeed. If you 'U 
let me have three pounds this once, I '11 never ask yon 
again. I '11 give you a written promise if you like, and 
I '11 pledge myself to pay it back by thirty shillings 
a time out of the two next months* salary. I will, 
indeed." And then Mr. Cradell began to cry. But 
when Johnny at last took out his cheque-book and 
wrote a cheque for three pounds, Mr. Cradell's eyes 
glistened with joy. " Upon my word I am so much 
obliged to you! You are the best fellow that ever 



a 



202 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

lived. And Amelia will say the same when she hears 
of it. 

" I don*t believe she '11 say anything of the kind, 
Cradell. If I remember anything of her, she has a 
stouter heart than that." Cradell admitted that his 
wife had a stouter heart than himself, and then made 
his way back to his own part of the office. 

This little interruption to the current of Mr. Eames's 
thoughts was, I think, for the good of the service, as, 
immediately on his friend's departure, he went to his 
work; whereas, had not he been thus called away 
from his reflections about Miss Dale, he would have 
sat thinking about her affairs probably for the rest of 
the morning. As it was, he really did write a dozen 
notes in answer to as many private letters addressed to 
his chief. Sir Raffle. Buffle, in all of which he made ex- 
cellently-worded false excuses for the non-performance 
of various requests made to Sir Raffle by the writers. 
" He 's about the best hand at it that I know," said 
Sir Raffle, one day, to the secretary ; ** otherwise you 
may be sure I should n't keep him there." " I will 
allow that he is clever," said the secretary. " It is n't 
cleverness, so much as tact. It 's what I call tact. I 
had n't been long in the service before I mastered it 
myself; and now that I 've been at the trouble to 
teach him I don't want to have the trouble to teach 
another. But upon my word he must mind his /'s 
and i^'s ; upon my word he must ; and you had better 
tell him so." "The fact is, Mr. Kissing," said the 
private secretary the next day to the secretary, — Mr. 
Kissing was at that time secretary to the board of 
commissioners for the receipt of income tax — "the 
fact is, Mr. Kissing, Sir Raffle should never attempt to 



UP IN LONDON. 203 

write a letter himself. He does n't know how to do 
it. He always says twice too much, and yet not half 
enough. I wish you 'd tell him so. He won't believe 
me." From which it will be seen Mr. Eames was 
proud of his special accomplishment, but did not feel 
any gratitude to the master who assumed to himself 
the glory of having taught him. On the present 
occasion John Eames wrote all his letters before he 
thought again of Lily Dale, and was able to write 
them without interruption, as the chairman was absent 
for the day at the Treasury ,^-or perhaps at his club. 
Then, when he had finished, he rang his bell, and 
ordered some sherry and soda-water, and stretched 
himself before the fire, — as though his exertions in the 
public service had been very great, — and seated him- 
self comfortably in his arm-chair, and lit a cigar, and 
again took out Lady Julia's letter. 

As regarded the cigar, it may be said that both Sir 
RafBe and Mr. Kissing had given orders that on no 
account should cigars be lit within the precincts of the 
Income-tax Office. Mr. Eames had taken upon him- 
self to understand that such orders did not apply to a 
private secretary, and was well aware that Sir Raffle 
knew his habit. To Mr. Kissing, I regret to say, he 
put himself in opposition whenever and wherever 
opposition was possible ; so that men in the office said 
that one of the two must go at last. " But Johnny can 
do anything, you know, because he has got money." 
That was too frequently the opinion finally expressed 
among the men. 

So John Eames sat down, and drank his soda-water, 
and smoked his cigar, and read his letter ; or rather, 
simply that paragraph of the letter which referred to 



204 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Miss Dale. " The tidings of her death have disturbed 
her, and set her thinking again of things that were 
fading from her mind.'* He understood it all. And 
yet how could it possibly be so ? How could it be 
that she should not despise a man,— despise him if she 
did not hate him, — ^who had behaved as this man had 
behaved to her ? It was now four years since this 
Crosbie had been engaged to Miss Dale, and had jilted 
her so heartlessly as to incur the disgust of every man 
in London who had heard the story. He had married 
an earrs daughter who had left him within a few 
months of their marriage, and now Mr. Crosbie^s noble 
wife was dead. The wife was dead, and simply be- 
cause the man was free again, he, John Eames, was to 
be told that Miss Dale's mind was " disturbed," and 
that her thoughts were going back to things which had 
faded from her memory, and which should have been 
long since banished altogether from such holy ground. 
If Lily Dale were now to many Mr. Crosbie, any- 
thing so perversely cruel as the fate of John Eames 
would never yet have been told in romance. That 
was his own idea on the matter as he sat smoking his 
cigar. I have said that he was proud of his constancy, 
and yet, in some sort, he was also ashamed of it. He 
acknowledged the fact of his love, and believed himself 
to have out-Jacobed Jacob; but Ife felt that it was 
hard for a man who had risen in the world as he had 
done to be made a plaything of by a foolish passion. 
It was now four years ago, — ^that affair of Crosbie, — 
and Miss Dale should have accepted him long since. 
Half-a-dozen times he had made up his mind to be 
very stem to her; and he had written somewhat 
sternly, — ^but the first moment that he saw her he was 



UP IN LONDON. 305 

conquered a^ain. " And now that brute will reappear, 
and everything will be wrong again/' he said to him- 
self. If the brute did reappear, something should hap- 
pen of which the world should hear the tidings. So 
he lit another cigar, and began to think what that 
something should be. 

As he did so he heard a loud noise, as of harsh, 
rattling winds in the next room, and he knew that Sir 
Raffle had come back from the Treasury. There was 
a creaking of boots, and a knocking of chairs, and a 
iii3iging of bells^ and then a loud angry voice, — a, voice 
that was very hardi, and on this occasion very angry. 
Why had not his twelve o'clock lett^s been sent up to 
him to the West End ? Why not ? Mr. Eames knew 
all about it Why did Mr. Eames know all about it ? 
Why had not Mr. Eames sent them up ? Where was 
Mr. Eames ? Let Mr. Eames be sent to him. All of 
which Mr. Eames heard standing with the ci^u* in his 
mouth and his back to the £re. *' Somebody has been 
bullying old BufQe, I suppose. After all, he has been 
at die Treasury to-day/' said Eames to himself. But 
he did not stir till the messenger had been to him, nor 
ev&i then, at once. ^' All right, RaflFerty," he said ; 
"I '11 go in just now." Then he took half-a-dozen 
more whiffs from the cigar, threw the remainder into 
the fire, and opened the door which communicated 
between his room and Sir Raffle's. 

The great man was standing with two unopened 
epistles in his hand. " Eames," said he, " here are let- 
ters " Then he stopped himself, and began upon 

another subject. " Did I not give express orders that 
I would have no smoking in the office ? " 

" I think Mr. Kissing said something about it, sir." 



ft 



206 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF fiARSET. 

" Mr. Kissing I It was not Mr. Kissing at all. It 
was I. I gave the order myself." 

" You '11 find it began with Mr. Kissing." 

" It did not begin with Mr. Kissing ; it began and 
ended with me. What are you going to do, sir ? " 
John Eames had stepped towards the bell, and his hand 
was already on the bell-pull. 

" I was going to ring for the papers, sir." 

" And who told you to ring for the papers ? I don't 
want the papers. The papers won't show anything. 
I suppose my word may be taken without the papers. 

Since you 're so fond of Mr. Kissing " 

I 'm not fond of Mr. Kissing at all." 
You '11 have to go back to him, and let somebody 
come here who will not be too independent to obey 
my orders. Here two most important letters have 
been lying here all day, instead of being sent up to me 
at the Treasury." 

" Of course they have been lying there. I thought 
you were at the club." 

" I told you I should go to the Treasury. I have 
been there all the morning with the chancellor," — 
when Sir RafBe spoke officially of the chancellor he 
was not supposed to mean the Lord Chancellor — " and 
here I find letters which I ji'articularly wanted lying 
upon my desk now. I must put an end to this kind 
of thing. I must, indeed. If you like the outer office 
better say so at once, and you can go." 
I '11 think about it. Sir Raffle." 
Think about it ! What do you mean by thinking 
about it ? But I can't talk about that now. I 'm very 
busy, and shall be here till past seven. I suppose you 
can stay ? " 






UP IN LONDON. 207 

"All night, if you wish it, sir." 

"Very well. That will do for the present. I 
would n't have had these letters delayed for twenty 
pounds." 

" I don't suppose it would have mattered one straw 
if both of them remained unopened till next week." 

This last little speech, however, was not made aloud 
to Sir Raffle, but by Johnny to himself in the solitude 
of his own room. 

Very soon after that he went away, Sir Raffle having 
discovered that one of the letters in question required 
his immediate return to the West End. " I Ve changed 
my mind about staying. I shan't stay now. I should 
have done so if these letters had reached me as they 
ought." 

Then I suppose I can go ? " 

You can do as you like about that," said Sir Raffle. 

Eames did do as he liked, and went home, or to his 
club ; and as he went he resolved that he would put 
an end, and at once, to the present trouble of his life. 
Lily Dale should accept him or reject him ; and, tak- 
ing either the one or the other alternative, she should 
hear a bit of his mind plainly spoken. 






CHAPTER XVI. 

DOWN AT ALLINGTON. 

It was Christmas-time down at AUington, and at 
three o'clock on Christmas Eve, just as the darkness of 
the early winter evening was coming on, Lily Dale and 
Grace Crawley were seated together, one above the 
other, on the steps leading up to the pulpit in Ailing- 
ton Church. They had been working all day at the 
decorations of the church, and they were now looking 
round them at the result of their handiwork. To an 
eye unused to the gloom the place wotdd have been 
nearly dark ; but they could see every comer turned 
by the ivy sprigs, and every line on which the holly- 
leaves were shining. And the greeneries of the winter 
had not been stuck up in the old-fashioned, idle way, 
a bough just fastened up here and a twig inserted 
there ; but everything had been done with some mean- 
ing, with some thought towards the original architecture 
of the building. The Gothic lines had been followed, 
and all the lower arches which it had been possible to 
reach with an ordinary ladder had been turned as truly 
with the laurel cuttings as they had been turned orig- 
inally with the stone. 

" I would n't tie another twig," said the elder girl, 
" for all the Christmas pudding that was ever boiled." 

" It 's lucky then that there is n't another twig to tie." 

" I don't know about that. I see a score of places 

208 



DOWN AT ALLINGTON. 8O9 

where the work has been scamped. This is the sixth 
time I have done the church, and I don't think I '11 
ever do it again. When we first began it, Bell and 
I, — before Bell was married, — Mrs. Boyce, and the 
Boycian establishment generally, used to come and 
help. Or rather we used to help her. Now she hardly 
ever looks after it at all." 

" She is older, I suppose." 

" She is a little older, and a deal idler. Sow idle 
people do get! Look at him. Since he has had a 
curate he hardly ever stirs round the parish. And he 

is getting so fat that H — ^sh! Here she is herself, 

— come to give her judgment upon Us." Then a stout 
lady, the wife of the vicar, walked slowly up the aisle. 
" Well, girls," she said, " you have worked hard, and I 
am siu"e Mr. Boyce will be very much obliged to you." 

"Mr. Boyce, indeed!" said Lily Dale. "We shall 
expect the whole parish to rise from their seats and 
thank us. Why did n*t Jane and Bessy come and 
help us ? " 

" They were so tired when they came in from the 
coal club. Besides, they don't care for this kind of 
thing, — 'not as you do.*' 

" Jane is utilitarian to the backbone, I know,'* said 
Lily, " and Bessy does n't like getting up ladders." 

" As for ladders," said Mrs. Boyce, defending her 
daughter, " I am not quite sure that Bessy is n't right. 
You don't mean to say that you did all those in the 
capitals yourself ? " 

" Every twig, with Hopkins to hold the ladder and 
cut the sticks ; and as Hopkins is just a hundred and 
one years old, we could have done it pretty nearly a» 
well alone." 

VOL. I. — 14 



/ 



2IO THE LAST CHRONldLE OF BARSET. 

" I do not think that," said Grace. 

" He has been grumbling all the time," said Lily, 
" and swears he never will have the laurels so robbed 
again. Five or six years ago he used to declare that 
death would certainly save him from the pain of such 
another desecration before the next Christmas; but 
he has given up that foolish notion now, and talks as 
though he meant to protect the AUington shrubs at any 
rate to the end of this century." 

" I am sure we gave our share from the parsonage," 
said Mrs. Boyce, who never understood a joke. 

" All the best came from the parsonage, as of course 
they ought," said Lily. " But Hopkins had to make 
up the deficiency. And as my uncle told him to take 
the hay-cart for them instead of the hand-barrow, he 
is broken-hearted." 

" I am sure he was very good-natiu^ed," said Grace. 

" Nevertheless he is broken-hearted ; and I am very 
good-natured too, and I am broken-backed. Who is 
going to preach to-morrow morning, Mrs. Boyce ? " 
Mr. Swanton will preach in the morning." 
Tell him not to be long, because of the children's 
pudding. Tell Mr. Boyce if Mr. Swanton is long, we 
won't any of us come next Sunday." 

" My dear, how can you say such wicked things! I 
shall not tell him anything of the kind." 

" That 's not wicked, Mrs. Boyce. If I were to say 
I had eaten so much lunch that I did n't want any 
dinner, you 'd understand that. If Mr. Swanton will 
preach for three-quarters of an hour " 

"He only preached for three-quarters of an hour 
once, Lily." 

" He has been over the half -hour every Sunday since 



it 



DOWN AT ALLINGTON. '211 

he has been here. His average is over forty minutesi 
and I say it 's a shame." 

" It is not a shame at all, Lily," said Mrs. Boyce, 
becoming very serious. 

" Look at my uncle ; he does n't like to go to sleep, 
and he has to suffer a purgatory in keeping himself 
awake." 

" If your uncle is heavy, how can Mr. Swanton help 
it ? If Mr. Dale's mind were on the subject he would 
not sleep." 

" Come, Mrs. Boyce ; there *s somebody else sleeps 
sometimes besides my uncle. When Mr. Boyce puts 
up his finger and just touches his nose I know as well 
as possible why he does it." 

" Lily Dale, you have no business to say so. It is 
not true. I don't know how you can bring yourself to 
talk in that way of your own clergyman. If I were to 
tell your mamma she would be shocked." 

" You won't be so ill-natured, Mrs. Boyce, — after all 
that I 've done for the church." 

" If you 'd think more about the clergjrman, Lily, 
and less about the church," said Mrs. Boyce, very 
sententiously, " more about the matter and less about 
the manner, more of the reality and less of the form, I 
think you 'd find that your religion would go further 
with you. Miss Crawley is the daughter of a clergy- 
man, and I 'm sure she '11 agree with me." 

" If she agrees with anybody in scolding me I '11 
quarrel with her." 

I did n't mean to scold you, Lily." 
I don't mind it from you, Mrs. Boyce. Indeed, I 
rather like it. It is a sort of pastoral visitation ; and 
as Mr. Boyce never scolds me himself, of course I take 



if 



212 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

it as coming from him by attorney." Then there was 

silence for a minute or two, during which Mrs. Boyce 
was endeavouring to discover whether Miss Dale was 
laughing at her or not. As she was not quite certain, 
she thought at last that she would let the suspected 
fault pass unobserved. "Don't wait for us, Mrs. 
Boyce," said Lily. " We must remain till Hopkins has 
sent Gregory to sweep the church out and take away 
the rubbish. We 11 see that the key k left at Mrs. 
Giles's." 

" Thank you, my dear. Then I may as well go. I 
thought I *d come in and see that it was all right. 
I 'm sure Mr. Boyce will be very much obliged to you 
and Miss Crawley. Good-night, my dear." 

" Good-night, Mrs. Boyce ; and be sure you don't 
let Mr. Swanton be long to-morrow." To this parting 
shot Mrs. Boyce made no rejoinder ; but she hurried 
out of the church somewhat the quicker for it, and 
closed the door after her with something of a slam. 

Of all persons clergymen are the most irreverent in 
the handling of things supposed to be sacred, and next 
to them clergymen's wives, and after them those other 
ladies, old or young, who take upon themselves semi- 
clerical duties. And it is natiu^al that it should be so ; 
for is it not said that familiarity does breed contempt ? 
When a parson takes his lay friend over his church on 
a week-day, how much less of the spirit of genuflexion 
and head-uncovering the clergyman will display than 
the layman! The parson pulls about the woodwork 
and knocks about the stonework, as though it were 
mere wood and stone; and talks aloud in the aisle, 
and treats even the reading-desk as a common thing ; 
whereas the visitor whispers gently, and carries himself 



DOWN AT ALLIKGTON. 2i^ 

as though even in looking at a chnrch he was bound 
to regard himself as perfonning some service that was 
half divine. Now Lily Dale and Grace Crawley were 
both accustomed to churches, and had been so long 
at work in this church for the last two days, that the 
building had lost to them much of its sacfedness, and 
they w&:e almost as irreverent as though they were two 
curates. 

" I am so glad she has gone/' said Lily. " We shall 
have to stop here for the next hour as Gregory won't 
know what to take away and whAt to leave. I was 
so afraid she was going to scop and see tts off the 
premises." 

'' I don^t know why you should dislike her." 

'' I don't disUke her. I like her very welt,'' said Lily 
Dale. '^ But don't you feel that there are people whom 
one knows very intimately, who are really friends,— ^f or 
whom if they were dying one would grieve, whom if 
they were in misfortune one would go far to help, but 
with whom for all that one can have no sympathy? 
And yet they are so near to one that they know all the 
events c^ one's life, and are justified by unquestioned 
friendship m talking about tilings which should never 
be mentioned except where sympathy exists." 

" Yes ; I understand that." 

*' Everybody undentands it who has been unhappy. 
That woman sometimes says things to me that make 
me w»h, — ^wish that they 'd make him bi^op of Pata- 
gonia. And yet she does it all in friendship, and 
mamma says diat she is quite right." 

I liked her for standing up for her husband.'* 
But he does go to sleep, — and then he scratches 
his nose to show that he *s awake. I should n't have 



it 
it 



214 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

said it, only she is always hinting at uncle Christopher. 
Uncle Christopher certainly does go to sleep when Mr. 
Boyce preaches, and he has n't studied any scientific 
little movements during his slumbers to make people 
believe that he 's all alive. I gave him a hint one 
day, and he got so angry with me! " 

" I should n't have thought he could have been 
angry with you. It seems to me from what you say 
that you may do whatever you please with him." 

" He is very good to me. If you knew it all,— r-if 
you could understand how good he has been! I '11 
try and tell you some day. It is not what he has done 
that makes me love him so, — but what he has thor- 
oughly understood, and what, so understanding, he has 
not done, and what he has not said. It is a case of 
sympathy. If ever there was a gentleman uncle Chris- 
topher is one. And I used to dislike him so at one 
time!" 

" And why ? " 

" Chiefly because he would make me wear brown 
frocks when I wanted to have them pink or green. 
And he kept me for six months from having them 
long, and up to this day he scolds me if there is half an 
inch on the ground for him to tread upon." 

" I should n't mind that if I were you." 

" I don't, — ^not now. But it used to be serious when 
I was a young girl. And we thought, Bell and I, that 
he was cross to mamma. He and mamma did n't 
agree at first, you know, as they do now. It is quite 
true that he did dislike mamma when we first came 
here." 

" I can't think how anybody could ever dislike Mrs. 
Dale." 



DOWN AT ALLINGTON. 21 5 

" But he did. And then he wanted to make up a 
marriage between Bell and my cousin Bernard. But 
neither of them cared a bit for the other, and then 
he used to scold them, — and then, — and then, — and 
then Oh, he was so good to me ! Here 's Greg- 
ory at last. Gregory, we Ve been waiting this hour 
and a half/' 

" It ain't ten minutes since Hopkins let me come 
with the barrows, miss." 

" Then Hopkins is a -traitor. Never mind. You 'd 
better begin now, — ^up there at the steps. It '11 be 
quite dark in a few minutes. Here 's Mrs. Giles with 
her broom. Come, Mrs. Giles ; we shall have to pass 
the night here if you don't make haste. Are you cold, 
Grace ? " 

" No ; I 'm not cold. I 'm thinking what they are 
doing now in the church at Hogglestock." 

The Hogglestock church is not pretty ; — ^like this ? " 
Oh, no. It is a very plain brick building, with 
something like a pigeon-house for a belfry. And the 
pulpit is over the reading-desk, and the reading-desk 
over the clerk, so that papa, when he preaches, is 
nearly up to the ceiling. And the whole place is 
divided into pews, in which the farmers hide themselves 
when they come to church." 

"So that nobody can see whether they go to sleep 
or no. Oh, Mrs. Giles, you must n't pull that down. 
That 's what we have been putting up all day." 

" But it be in the way, miss ; so that the minister 
can't budge in or out o' the door." 

" Never mind. Then he must stay one side or the 
other. That would be too much after all our trouble ! " 
And Miss Dale hurried across the chancel to save 






2l6 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

3ome prettily arching boughs, which, in the judgment 
of Mrs. Giles, encroached too much on the vestry door. 
*' As if it signified which side he was,'' she said in a 
whisper to Grace. 

" I don't suppose they '11 have anything in the church 
at home," said Grace. 

" Somebody will stick up a wreath or two, I daie 
say.'' 

" Nobody will. There never is anybody at Hoggle- 
stock to stick up wreaths, or to do anything for the 
prettinesses of life. And now there wiU be less done 
than ever. How can mamma look after holly-leaves 
in her present state ? And yet she will miss them, too. 
Poor mamma sees very little that is pretty ; but she 
has not forgotten how pleasant pretty things are.*' 
I wish I knew your mother, Grace." 
I think it would be impossible for any one to know 
mamma now, — for any one who had not known her 
before. She never makes even a new acquaintance. 
She &eems to think that there is nothing left for her 
in the world but to try and keep papa out of misery. 
And she does not succeed in that. Poor papal " 

"Is he very unhappy about this wicked accusa- 
tion ? " 

" Yes ; he is very unhappy. But, Lily, I dpn't know 
about its being wicked." 

But you know that it is untrue." 
Of course I know that papa did not mean to take 
anything that was not his own. But, you see, no- 
body knows where it came from ; and nobody except 
mamma, and Jane and I understand how very absent 
papa can be. I 'm sure he does n't know the least in 
the world how he came by it himself, or he would tell 



it 
t( 



ft 
tt 



if 
it 



DOWN AT ALLINGTON. , aiy 

mamma. Do you know, Lily, I think I have been 
wrong to come away." 

"Don't say that, dear. Remember how anxious 
Mrs. Crawley was that you should come." 

" But I cannot bear to be comfortable here while 
they are so wretched at home. It seems such a mock- 
ery. Every time I find myself smiling at what you say 
to me, I think I must be the most heartless creature in 
the world." 

Is it so very bad with them, Grace ? " 
Indeed it is bad. I don't think you can imagine 
what mamma has to go through. She has to cook all 
that is «aten in the house, and then, very often, there 
is no money in the house to buy anything. If you 
were to see the clothes she wears, even that would 
make your heart bleed. I who have been used to 
being poor all my life,— even I, when I am at home, 
am dismayed by what she has to endure." 

" What can we do for her, Grace ? " 

" You can do nothing, Lily. But when things are 
like that at home you can understand what I feel in 
being here." 

Mrs. Giles and Gregory had now completed their 
task, or had so nearly done so as to make Miss Dale 
think that she might safely leave the church. *^ We 
will go in now,'* she said ; " for it is dark and cold, 
and what I call creepy. Do you ever fancy that 
perhaps you will see a ghost some day ? " 

*' I don't think I shall ever see a ghost ; but all the 
&ame I should be half afraid to be here alone in the 
dark." 

" I am often here alone in the dark, but I am be- 
ginning to think I shall never see a ghost now. I am 



8l8 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

losing all my romance, and getting to be an old woman. 
Do you know, Grace, I do so hate myself for being 
such an old maid." 

" But who says you 're an old maid, Lily ? " 
" I see it in people's eyes, and hear it in their voices. 
And they all talk to me as if I were very steady, and 
altogether removed from anything like fun and frolic. 
It seems to be admitted that if a girl does not want to 
fall in love, she ought not to care for any other fun in 
the world. If anybody made out a list of the old 
ladies in these parts, they 'd put down Lady Julia 
and mamma, and Mrs. Boyce and me, and old Mrs. 
Hearn. The very children have an awful respect for 
me, and give over playing direcdy they see me. Well, 
mamma, we 've done at last, and I have had such a 
scolding from Mrs. Boyce." 

I dare say you deserved it, my dear." 
No, I did not, mamma. Ask Grace if I did." 
Was she not saucy to Mrs. Boyce, Miss Crawley ? " 
"She said that Mr. Boyce scratches his nose in 
church," said Grace. 

So he does ; and goes to sleep, too." 
If you told Mrs. Boyce that, Lily, I think she was 
quite right to scold you." 

Such was Miss Lily Dale, with whom Grace Crawley 
was stajang ; — Lily Dale with whom Mr. John Eames, 
of the Income-tax Office, had been so long and so 
steadily in love that he was regarded among his fellow- 
clerks as a miracle of constancy, — who had, herself, in 
former days been so unfortunate in love as to have 
been regarded among her friends in the country as the 
most ill-used of women. As John Emaes had been 
able to be comfortable in life, — that is to say, not 



it 

it 



ft 
tt 



DOWN AT ALLINGTON. aig 

Utterly a wretch, — ^in spite of his love, so had she man- 
aged to hold up her head, and live as other young 
women live, in spite of her misfortune. But as it may 
be said also that his constancy was true constancy, 
although he knew how to enjoy the good things of 
the world, so also had her misfortune been a true mis- 
fortune, although she had been able to bear it without 
much outer show of shipwreck. For a few days, — ^for 
a week or two, when the blow first struck her, she had 
been knocked down, and the friends who were nearest 
to her had thought that she would never again stand 
erect upon her feet. But she had been very strong, 
stout at heart, of a fixed purpose, and capable of re- 
sistance against oppression. Even her own mother 
had been astonished, and sometimes almost dismayed, 
by the strength of her will. Her mother knew well 
how it was with her now ; but they who saw her fre- 
quently, and who did not know her as her mother knew 
her, — the Mrs. Boyces of her acquaintance, — whispered 
among themselves that Lily Dale was not so soft of 
heart as people used to think. 

On the next day, Christmas Day, as the reader 
will remember, Grace Crawley was taken up to dine at 
the big house with the old squire. Mrs. Dale's eldest 
daughter, with her husband. Dr. Crofts, was to be 
there ; and also Lily's old friend, who was also espe- 
cially the old friend of Johnny Eames, Lady Julia De 
Guest. Grace had endeavoured to be excused from 
the party, pleading many pleas. But the upshot of all 
her pleas was this, — that while her father's position was 
so painful she ought not to go out anywhere. In 
answer to this, Lily Dale, corroborated by her mother, 
assured her that for her father's sake she ought not to 



aSO THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

exhibit any such feeling ; that in doing so, she would 
seem to express a doubt as to her father's innocence. 
Then she allowed herself to be persuaded, telling her 
friend, however, that she knew the day would be very 
miserable to her. " It will be very humdrum, if you 
please," said Lily. " Nothing can be more humdrum 
than Christmas at the Great House. Nevertheless, 
you must go." 

Coming out of church, Grace was introduced to the 
old squire. He was a thin, old man, with grey hair, 
and the smallest possible grey whiskers, with a dry, 
solemn face ; not carrying in his outward gait much of 
the customary jollity of Christmas. He took his hat 
off to Grace, and said some word to her as to hoping 
to have the pleasure of seeing her at dinner. It 
sounded very cold to her, and she became at once 
afraid of him. ** I wish I was not going," she said to 
Lily, again. " I know he thinks I ought not to go. I 
shall be so thankful if you will but let me stay." 

'' Don't be foolish^ Grace. It all comes from your 
not knowing him, or understanding him. And how 
should you understand him ? I give you my word that 
I would tell you if I did not know that he wishes yoa 
to go." 

She had to go. " Of course I have. n't a dress fit 
How should I ? " she said to Lily. " How wrong it is 
of me to put myself up to such a thing as this." 

'' Your dress is beautiful, child. We are none of us 
going in evening-dresses. Pray believe that I will not 
make you do wrong. If you won't trust me, can't you 
trust mamma ? " 

Of course she went. When the three ladies entered 
the drawing-room of the Great House they found thai 



POWN AT ALUNGTON. 32 1 

Lady Julia had arrived before them. Lady Julia im- 
mediately took hold of Lily, and led her apart, having 
a word or two to say about the clerk in the Income- 
tax Office. I am not sure but what the dear old 
woman sometimes said a few more words than were 
expedient, with a view to the object which she had so 
closely at heart. " John is to be with us the first week 
in February," she said. " I suppose you *11 see him 
before that, as he 'U probably be with his mother a few 
days before he comes to me.'* 

" I dare say we shall see him quite in time, Lady 
Julia," said Lily. 

'* Now, Lily, don't be ill-natured." 

" I *m the most good-natured young woman alive. 
Lady Julia, and as for Johnny, he is always made 
as welcome at the Small House as violets in March. 
Mamma purrs about him when he comes, asking all 
manner of flattering questions, as though he were a 
Cabinet minister at least, and I always admire some 
little knicknack that he has got, a new ring, or a stud, 
or a button. There is n*t another man in all the world 
whose buttons I 'd look at." 
It is n't his buttons, Lily." 
Ah, that 's just it. I can go as far as his buttons. 
But come, Lady Julia, this is Christmas-time, and 
Christmas should be a holiday." 

In the mean time Mrs. Dale was occupied with her 
married daughter and her son-in-law, and the squire 
had attached himself to poor Grace. "You have 
never been in this part of the country before. Miss 
Crawley," he said. 
No, sir." 
It is rather pretty just about here, and Guestwick 



ft 



it 
it 






222 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Manor is a fine place in its way, but we Have not so 
much natural beauty as you have in Barsetshire. Chaldi- 
cote Chase is, I think, as pretty as anything in England." 

" I never saw Chaldicote Chase, sir. It is n't pretty 
at all at Hogglestock, where we live." 

"Ah, I forgot! No; it is not very pretty at Hog- 
glestock. That *s where the bricks come from." 
Papa is clergyman at Hogglestock." 
Yes, yes; I remember. Your father is a great 
scholar. I have often heard of him. I am so sorry 
he should be distressed by this charge they have made. 
But it will all come right at the assizes. They always 
get at the truth there. I used to be intimate with a 
clergyman in Barsetshire of the name of Grantly;" — 
Grace felt that her ears were tingling, and that her face 
was red; — "Archdeacon Grantly. His father was 
bishop of the diocese." 

Yes, sir. Archdeacon Grantly lives at Plumstead." 
I was staying once with an old friend of mine, Mr. 
Thorne of UUathome, who lives close to Plumstead, 
and saw a good deal of them. I remember thinking 
Henry Grantly was a very nice lad. He married 
afterwards." 

" Yes, sir ; but his wife is dead now, and he has got 
a little girl, — Edith Grantly." 

" Is there no other child ? " 

"No, sir; only Edith." 

" You know him, then ? " 

" Yes, sir ; I know Major Grantly, — and Edith. I 
never saw Archdeacon Grantly." 

" Then, my dear, you never saw a very famous pillar 
of the church. I remember when people used to talk 
a great deal about Archdeacon Grantly ; but when his 



ft 
it 



(t 
tt 



DOWN AT ALLINGTON. 223 

time came to be made a bishop, he was not sufficiently 
new-fangled ; and so he got passed by. He is much 
better off as he is, I should say. Bishops have to work 
very hard, my dear." 
Do they, sir ? " 

So they tell me. And the archdeacon is a wealthy 
man. So Henry Grantly has got an only daughter ? I 
hope she is a nice child, for I remember hking him well." 

"She is a very nice child, indeed, Mr. Dale. She 
could not be nicer. And she is so lovely." Then Mr. 
D^le looked into his yoimg companion's face, struck 
by the sudden animation of her words, and perceived 
for the first time that she was very pretty. 

After this Grace became accustomed to the strange- 
ness of the faces round her, and managed to eat her 
dinner without much perturbation of spirit. When 
after dinner the squire proposed to her that they should 
drink the health of her papa and mamma, she was al- 
most reduced to tears, and yet she liked him for doing 
it. It was terrible to her to have them mentioned, 
knowing as she did that every one who mentioned 
them must be aware of their misery, — for the misfort- 
une of her father had become notorious in the country ; 
but it was almost more terrible to her that no allusion 
should be made to them ; for then she would be driven 
to think that her father was regarded as a man whom 
the world could not afford to mention. 

" Papa and mamma," she just murmured, raising her 
glass to her lips. 

"Grace, dear," said Lily from across the table, 
"here 's papa and mamma, and the young man at 
Marlborough who is carrying everything before him." 

" Yes ; we won't forget the young man at Marlbor- 



224 THE LAST CHRONICLE OP BARSET. 

ough/' said the squire. Grace felt this to be good- 
natured, because her brother at Marlborough was the 
one bright spot in her family) — and she was comforted. 

" And we will drink the health of my friend, John 
Eames," said Lady Julia. 

" John Eames's health," said the squire, in a low voice. 

" Johnny's health," said Mrs. Dale ; but Mrs. Dale's 
voice was not very brisk. 

"John's health," said Dr. Crofts and Mrs. Crofts in 
a breath. 

" Here 's the health of Johnny Eames," said Lily ; 
and her voice was the clearest and the boldest of them 
all. But she made up her mind that if Lady Julia could 
not be induced to spare her for the future, she and Lady 
Julia must quarrel. "No one can understand," she 
said to her mother that evening, " how dreadful it is,— *- 
this being constantly told before one's family and 
friends that one ought to marry a certain young man." 

" She did n't say that, my dear." 

" I should much prefer that she should, for then I 
could get up on my legs and answer her off the reel. 
Of course everybody there understood what she meant, 
— ^including old John Bates, who stood at the sideboard 
and coolly drank the toast himself." 

" He always does that to all the family toasts on 
Christmas Day. Your uncle likes it.'' 

" That was n't a family toast, and John Bates had 
no right to drink it." 

After dinner they all played cards, — a round game, 
— and the squire put in the stakes. " Now, Grace," 
said Lily, " you are the visitor, and you must win, or 
else uncle Christopher won't be happy. He always 
likes a young Mdy visitor to win.'' 



DOWN AT ALLINGTON. 225 



ti 



But I never played a game of cards in my life." 
Go and sit next to him and he *11 teach you. 
Uncle Christopher, won't you teach Grace Crawley ? 
She never saw a Pope Joan board in her life before." 

" Come here, my dear, and sit next to me. Dear, 
dear, dear ; fancy Henry Grantly having a little girl. 
What a handsome lad he was. And it seems only 
yesterday." If it were so that Lily had said a word 
to her uncle about Grace and the major, the old squire 
had become on a sudden very sly. Be that as it may, 
Grace Crawley thought that he was a pleasant old 
man ; and though, while talking to him about Edith, 
she persisted in not learning to play Pope Joan, so that 
he could not contrive that she should win, neverthe- 
less the squire took to her very kindly, and told her to 
come up with Lily and see him sometimes while she 
was staying at the Small House. The squire in speak- 
ing of his sister-in-law's cottage always called it the 
Small House. 

" Only think of my winning," said Lady Julia, draw- 
ing together her wealth. " Well, I 'm sure I want it 
bad enough, for I don't at all know whether I Ve got 
any income of my own. It 's all John Eames's fault, 
my dear, for he won't go and make those people settle 
it in Lincoln's Inn Fields." Poor Lily, who was stand- 
ing on the hearthrug, touched her mother's arm. She 
knew that Johnny's name was lugged in with reference 
to Lady Julia's money altogether for her benefit. " I 
wonder whether she ever had a Johnny of her own," 
she said to her mother, " and, if so, whether she liked 
it when her friends sent the town-crier round to talk 
about him." 

" She means to be good-natured," said Mrs. Dale. 

VOL. I. —15 



226 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" Of course she does. But it is such a pity when 
people won't understand." 

" My uncle did n*t bite you after all, Grace," said 
Lily to her friend as they were going home at night, by 
the pathway which led from the garden of one house 
to the garden of the other. 

" I like Mr. Dale very much," said Grace. " He 
was very kind to me." 

" There is some queer-looking animal of whom they 
say that he is better than he looks, and I always think 
of that saying when I think of my uncle." 

" For shame, Lily," said her mother. " Your uncle, 
for his age, is as good a looking man as I know. And 
he always looks like jiist what he is, — an English 
gentleman." 

" I did n*t mean to say a word against his dear old 
face and figure, mamma ; but his heart, and mind, 
and general disposition, as they come out in experience 
and days of trial, are so much better than the samples 
of them which he puts on the counter for men and 
women to judge by. He wears well, and he washes 
well, — if you know what I mean, Grace." 

" Yes ; I think I know what you mean." 

"The ApoUos of the world, — I don't mean in outward 
looks, mamma, — ^but the Apollos in heart, the men, — 
and the women too, — who are so full of feeling, so soft- 
natured, so kind, who never say a cross woyd, who 
never get out of bed on the wrong side in the morn- 
ing, — it so often turns out that they won't wash." 

Such was the expression of Miss Lily Dale's experi- 
ence. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

MR. CRAWLEY IS SUMMONED TO BARCHESTER. 

The scene which occmred in Hogglestock church 
on the Sunday after Mr. Thumble's first visit to that 
parish had not been described with absolute accuracy 
either by the archdeacon in his letter to his son, or by 
Mrs. Thome. There had been no footman from the 
palace in attendance on Mr. Thumble, nor had there 
been a battle with the brickmakers ; neither had Mr. 
Thumble been put under the pump. But Mr. Thumble 
had gone over, taking his gown and surplice with him, 
on the Sunday morning, and had intimated to Mr. 
Crawley his intention of performing the service. Mr. 
Crawley, in answer to this, had assured Mr. Thumble 
that he would not be allowed to open his mouth in the 
church ; and Mr. Thumble, not seeing his way to any 
further successful action, had contented himself with 
attending the services in his surplice, making thereby a 
silent protest that he, and not Mr. Crawley, ought to 
have been in the reading-desk and the pulpit. 

When Mr. Thumble reported himself and his failure 
at the palace, he strove hard to avoid seeing Mrs. 
Proudie, but not successfully. He knew something of 
the palace habits, and did manage to reach the bishop 
alone on the Sunday evening, justifying himself to his 
lordship for such an interview by the remarkable cir- 

227 



ti 



228 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

cumstances of the case and the importance of his late 
mission. Mrs. Proudie always went to church on Sun- 
day evenings, making a point of hearing three services 
and three sermons every Sunday of her Ufe. On week- 
days she seldom heard any, having an idea that week- 
day services were an invention of the High-Church 
enemy, and that they should therefore be vehemently 
discouraged. Services on saints' days she regarded as 
rank papacy, and had been known to accuse a clergy- 
man's wife, to her face, of idolatry, because the poor 
lady had dated a letter St. John's Eve. Mr. Thumble, on 
this Sunday evening, was successful in finding the bishop 
at home, and alone, but he was not lucky enough to 
get away before Mrs. Proudie returned. The bishop, 
perhaps, thought that the story of the failure had better 
reach his wife's ears from Mr. Thumble's lips than 
from his own. 

"Well, Mr. Thumble!" said Mrs. Proudie, walking 
into the study, armed in her full Sunday-evening winter 
panoply, in which she had just descended from her 
carriage. The church which Mrs. Proudie attended 
in the evening was nearly half a mile from the palace, 
and the coachman and groom never got a holiday on 
a Sunday night. She was gorgeous in a dark brown 
silk dress of awful stiffness and terrible dimensions ; and 
on her shoulders she wore a short cloak of velvet and 
fur, very handsome withal, but so swelling in its pro- 
portions on all sides as necessarily to create more of 
dismay than of admiration in the mind of any ordinary 
man. And her bonnet was a monstrous helmet with 
the beaver up, displaying the awful face of the warrior, 
always ready for combat, and careless to guard itself 
from attack. The large contorted bows which she 



MR. CRAWLEY IS SUMMONED TO BARCHESTER. 229 

bore were as a grisly crest upon her casque, beautiful, 
doubtless, but majestic and fear-compelling. In her 
hand she carried her armour all complete, a prayer- 
book, a Bible, and a book of hymns. These the foot- 
man had brought for her to the study-door, but she 
had thought fit to enter her husband's room with them 
in her own custody. " Well, Mr. Thumblel " she said. 
Mr. Thumble did not answer at once, thinking, proba- 
bly, that the bishop might choose to explain the cir- 
cumstances. But neither did the bishop say anything. 
" Well, Mr. Thumble ! " she said again ; and then she 
stood looking at the man who had failed so disastrously. 

" I have explained to the bishop," said he. " Mr. 
Crawley has been contiunacious, — very contumacious 
indeed." 

But you preached at Hogglestock ? " 
No, indeed, Mrs. Proudie. Nor would it have 
been possible, unless I had had the police to assist me," 

"Then you should have had the police. I never 
heard of anything so mismanaged in all my life; — 
never in all my life." And she put her books down 
on the study table, and turned herself round from Mr. 
Thumble towards the bishop. " If things go on Hke 
this, my lord," she said, " your authority in the diocese 
will very soon be worth nothing at all." It was not 
often that Mrs. Proudie called her husband my lord, but 
when she did so, it was a sign that terrible times had 
come ;— times so terrible that the bishop would know 
that he must either fight or fly. He would almost en- 
dure anything rather than descend into the arena for 
the purpose of doing battle with his wife, but occasions 
would come now and again when even the alternative 
of flight was hardly left to him. 



(t 



230 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" But, my dear " began the bishop. 

" Am I to understand that this man has professed 
himself to be altogether indifferent to the bishop's pro- 
hibition ? " said Mrs. Proudie, interrupting her husband 
and addressing Mr. Thumble. 

" Quite so. He seemed to think that the bishop had 
no lawful power in the matter at all," said Mr. Thumble. 

" Do you hear that, my lord ? " said Mrs. Proudie. 

" Nor have I any," said the bishop, almost weeping 
as he spoke. 

" No authority in your own diocese! " 

*' None to silence a man merely by my own judg- 
ment. I thought, and still think, that it was for this 
gentleman's own interest, as well as for the credit of 
the church, that some provision should be made for 
his duties during his present— present— difficulties." 

"Difficulties indeed! Everybody knows that the 
man has been a thief." 

No, my dear ; I do not know it." 
You never know anything, bishop." 

" I mean to say that I do not know it officially. Of 
course I have heard the sad story; and, though I 
hope it may not be the " 

" There is no doubt about its truth. All the world 
knows it. He has stolen twenty pounds, and yet he is 
to be allowed to desecrate the church, and imperil the 
souls of the people!" The bishop got up from his 
chair and began to walk backwards and forwards 
through the room with short quick steps. " It only 
wants five days to Christmas Day," continued Mrs. 
Proudie, "and something must be done at once. I 
say nothing as to the propriety or impropriety of his 
being out on bail, as it is no affair of ours. When I 






MR. CRAWLEY IS SUMMONED TO BARCHESTER. 23 1 

heard that he had been bailed by a beneficed clergy- 
man of this diocese, of course I knew where to look 
for the man who would act with so much impropriety. 
Of course I was not surprised when I found that that 
person belonged to Framley. But, as I have said 
before, that is no business of ours, I hope, Mr. Thum- 
ble, that the bishop will never be found interfering 
with the ordinary laws of the land. I am very sure 
that he will never do so by my advice. But when 
there comes a question of inhibiting a clergyman who 
has committed himself as this clergyman unfortunately 
has done, then I say that that clergyman ought to be 
inhibited." The bishop walked up and down the 
room throughout the whole of this speech, but gradu- 
ally his steps became quicker, and his turns became 
shorten " And now here is Christmas Day upon us, 
and what is to be done?" With these words Mrs. 
Proudie finished her speech. 

" Mr. Thumble," said the bishop, " perhaps you had 
better now retire. I am very sorry that you should 
have had so thankless and so disagreeable a task." 

'* Why should Mr. Thumble retire ? " asked Mrs. 
Proudie. 

" I think it better," said the bishop. " Mr. Thumble, 
good-night." Then Mr. Thumble did retire, and Mrs. 
Proudie stood forth in her full panoply of armour, 
silent and awful, with her helmet erect, and vouchsafed 
no rocognition whatever of the parting salutation with 
which Mr. Thumble greeted her. " My dear, the truth 
is, you do not understand the matter," said the bishop 
as soon as the door was closed. " You do not know 
how limited is my power." 

" Bishop, I understand it a great deal better than 



333 THE LAST CHRONICLE OP BARSET. 

some people ; and I understand also what is due to 
myself and the manner in which I ought to be treated 
by you in the presence of the subordinate clergy of the 
diocese. I shall not, however, remain here to be in* 
suited either in the presence or in the absence of any 
one." Then the conquered amazon collected together 
the weapons which she had laid upon the table, and 
took her departure with majestic step, and not without 
the clang of arms. The bishop, when he was left alone, 
enjoyed for a few moments the triumph of his victory. 

But then he was left so very much alone! When 
he looked round about him upon his solitude after the 
departure of his wife, and remembered that he should 
not see her again till he should encounter her on ground 
that was all her own, he regretted his own success, and 
was tempted to follow her and to apologise. He was 
unable to do anything alone. He would not even know 
how to get his tea, as the very servants would ask 
questions, if he were to do so unaccustomed a thing as 
to order it to be brought up to him in his solitude. 
They would tell him that Mrs. Proudie was having tea 
in her little sitting-room upstairs, or else that the 
things were laid in the drawing-room. He did wander 
forth to the latter apartment, hoping that he might find 
his wife there; but the drawing-room was dark and 
deserted, and so he wandered back again. It was a 
grand thing certainly to have triumphed over his wife, 
and there was a crumb of comfort in the thou^t that 
he had vindicated himself before Mr. Thumble ; but the 
general result was not comforting, and he knew from 
of old how short-lived his triumph would be. 

But wretched as he was during that evening he did 
employ himself with some energy. After much thought 



MR. CRAWLEY IS SUMMONED TO BARCHESTER. 233 

he resolved that he would again write to Mr. Crawley, 
and summon him to appear at the palace. In doing 
this he would at any rate be doing something. There 
would be action. And though Mr. Crawley would, 
as he thought, decline to obey the order, something 
would be gained even by that disobedience. So he 
wrote his sununons, — sitting very comfortless and all 
alone on that Sunday evening,—- dating his letter, how- 
ever, for the following day : — 

** Palace, December 20, 186 — . 

" Reverend Sir, — I have just heard from Mr. Thum- 
ble that you have declined to accede to the advice 
which I thought it my duty to tender to you as the 
bishop who has been set over you by the church, and 
that you yesterday insisted on what you believed to 
be your right to administer the services in the parish 
church of Hogglestock* This has occasioned me the 
deepest regret. It is, I think, unavailing that I should 
further write to you my mind upon the subject, as I 
possess such strong evidence that my written word 
will not be respected by you. I have, therefore, no 
alternative now but to invite you to come to me here ; 
and this I do, hoping that I may induce you to listen 
to that authority which I cannot but suppose you 
acknowledge to be vested in the office which I hold. 

" I shall be glad to see you on to-morrow, Tuesday, 
as near the hour of two as you can make it convenient 
to yourself to be here, and I will take care to order 
that refreshment shall be provided for yourself and 
your horse. 

" I am, Reverend Sir, 

"&c. &c. &c. 

" Thos. Barnum." 



234 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" My dear," he said, when he did again encounter 
his wife that night, " I have written to Mr. Crawley, 
and I thought I might as weil bring up the copy of 
my letter." 

" I wash my hands of the whole affair," said Mrs. 
Proudie — " of the whole affair! " 

" But you will look at the letter ? " 

" Certainly not. Why should I look at the letter ? 
My word goes for, nothing. I have done what I 
could, but in vain. Now let us see how you will 
manage it yourself." 

The bishop did not pass a comfortable night ; but 
in the morning his wife did read his letter and after 
that things went a little smoother with him. She was 
pleased to say that, considering all things; — seeing, as 
she could not help seeing, that the matter had been 
dreadfully mismanaged, and that great weakness had 
been displayed ; — seeing that these faults had already 
been committed, perhaps no better step could now be 
taken than that proposed in the letter. 

I suppose he will not come;" said the bishop. 
I think he will," said Mrs. Proudie, " and I trust 
that we may be able to convince him that obedience 
will be his best coxu^e. He will be more humble- 
minded here than at Hogglestock." In saying this 
the lady showed some knowledge of the general nature 
of clergymen and of the world at large. She imder- 
stood how much louder a cock can crow in its own 
farm-yard than elsewhere, and knew that episcopal 
authority backed by all the solemn awe of palatial 
grandeur goes much further than it will do when sent 
under the folds of an ordinary envelope. But though 



(f 



MR. CRAWLEY IS SUMMONED TO BARCHESTER. 235 

she understood ordinary human nature, it may be that 
she did not understand Mr. Crawley's nature. 

But she was at any rate right in her idea as to Mr. 
Crawley's immediate reply. The palace groom who 
rode over to Hogglestock returned with an immediate 
answer. 

" My Lord," (said Mr. Crawley), — " I will obey your 
lordship's summons, and, unless impediments should 
arise, I will wait upon your lordship at the hour you 
name to-morrow. I will not trespass on your hospi- 
tality. For myself, I rarely break bread in any house 
but my own ; and as to the horse, I have none. 

" I have the honour to be, 

" My lord, &c. &c. 
"JosiAH Crawley." 

" Of course I shall go," he had said to his wife as 
soon as he had had time to read the letter, and make 
known to her the contents. " I shall go if it be possi- 
ble for me to get there. I think that I am bound to 
comply with the bishop's wishes in so much as that." 

" But how will you get there, Josiah ? " 

" I will walk, — ^with the Lord's aid." 

Now Hogglestock was fifteen miles from Barchester, 
and Mr. Crawley was, as his wife well knew, by no 
means fitted in his present state for great physical ex- 
ertion. But from the tone in which he had repHed to 
her, she well knew that it would not avail for her to 
remonstrate at the moment. He had walked more 
than thirty miles in a day since they had been living 
at Hogglestock, and she did not doubt but that it might 
be possible for him to do it again. Any scheme which 



336 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

she might be able to devise for saving him from so 
terrible a journey in the middle of winter, must be 
pondered over silently, and brought to bear, if not 
slyly, at least deftly, and without discussion. She 
made no reply therefore when he declared that on the 
following day he would walk to Barchester and back, 
— with the Lord's aid ; nor did she see, or ask to see, 
the note which he sent to the bishop. When the mes- 
senger was gone, Mr. Crawley was all alert, looking 
forward with evident glee to his encounter with the 
bishop, — snorting like a race-horse at the expected 
triumph of the coming struggle. And he read much 
Greek with Jane on that afternoon, pouring into her 
young ears, almost with joyous rapture, his apprecia- 
tion of the glory and the pathos and the humanity, 
as also of the awful tragedy, of the story of CEdipus. 
His very soul was on fire at the idea of clutching the 
weak bishop in his hand, and crushing him with his 
strong grasp. 

In the afternoon Mrs. Crawley slipped out to a 
neighbouring farmer's wife, and returned in an hour's 
time with a little story which she did not tell with any 
appearance of eager satisfaction. She had learned 
well what were the little tricks necessary to the carrying 
of such a matter as that which she had now in hand. 
Mr. Mangle, the farmer, as it happened, was going 
to-morrow morning in his tax-cart as far as Framley 
Mill, and would be delighted if Mr. Crawley would take 
a seat. He must remain at Framley the best part of 
the afternoon, and hoped that Mr. Crawley would take 
a seat back again. Now Framley Mill was only half 
a mile off the direct road to Barchester, and was almost 
half-way from Hogglestock parsonage to the city. This 



MR. CRAWLEY IS SUMMONED TO BARCHESTER. 237 

would, at any rate, bring the walk within a practicable 
distance. Mr. Crawley was instantly placed upon his 
guard, like an animal that sees the bait and suspects 
the trap. Had he been told that farmer Mangle was 
going all the way to Barchester, nothing would have 
induced him to get into the cart. He would have felt 
sure that farmer Mangle had been persuaded to pity 
him in his poverty and his strait, and he would sooner 
have started to walk to London than have put a foot 
upon the step of the cart. But this lift half-way did 
look to him as though it were really fortuitous. His 
wife could hardly have been cunning enough to per- 
suade the farmer to go to Framley, conscious that the 
trap would have been suspected had the bait been made 
more full. But I fear, — I fear the dear good woman 
had been thus cimning, — ^had understood how far the 
trap might be baited, and had thus succeeded in catch- 
ing her prey. 

On the following morning he consented to get into 
farmer Mangle's cart, and was driven as far as Fram- 
ley Mill. " I would n*t think nowt, your reverence, of 
running you over into Barchester, — that I would n*t. 
The powny is so mortial good," said farmer Mangle in 
his foolish good-nature. 

" And how about your business here ? " said Mr. 
Crawley. The farmer scratched his head, remember- 
ing all Mrs. Crawley's injunctions, and awkwardly 
acknowledged that to be sure his own business with 
the miller was very pressing. Then Mr. Crawley de- 
scended, terribly suspicious, and went on his journey. 

" Anyways, your reverence will call for me coming 
back ? " said farmer Mangle. But Mr. Crawley would 
make no promise. He bade the farmer not wait fot 



238 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

him. If they chanced to meet together on the road 
he might get up again. If the man really had business 
at Framley, how could he have offered to go on to 
Barchester ? Were they deceiving him ? The wife of 
his bosom had deceived him in such matters before 
now. But his trouble in this respect was soon dissipated 
by the pride of his anticipated triumph over the bishop. 
He took great glory from the thought that he would 
go before the bishop with dirty boots — ^with boots nec- 
essarily dirty, — ^with rusty pantaloons, that he would 
be hot and mud-stained with his walk, hungry, and an 
object to be wondered at by all who should see him, 
because of the misfortunes which had been unworthily 
heaped upon his head ; whereas the bishop would be 
sleek and clean and well-fed, — pretty with all the pret- 
tinesses that are becoming to a bishop's outward man. 
And he, Mr. Crawley, would be humble, whereas the 
bishop would be very proud. And the bishop would 
be in his own arm-chair, — the cock in his own farm- 
yard, while he, Mr. Crawley, would be seated afar off, 
in the cold extremity of the room, with nothing of out- 
ward circumstances to assist him, — a man called thither 
to undergo censure. And yet he would take the bishop 
in his grasp and crush him, — crush him, — crush him ! 
As he thought of this he walked quickly through the 
mud, and put out his long arm and his great hand, far 
before him out into the air, and, there and then, he 
crushed the bishop in his imagination. Yes, indeed! 
He thought it very doubtful whether the bishop would 
ever send for him a second time. As all this passed 
through his mind, he forgot his wife's cunning, and 
farmer Mangle's sin, and for the moment he was happy. 
As he turned a comer round by Lord Lufton's park 



MR. CRAWLEY IS SUMMONED TO BARCHESTER. 239 

paling, who should he meet but his old friend Mr. 
Robarts, the parson of Framley, — the parson who had 
committed the sin of being bail for him, — the sin, that 
is, according to Mrs. Proudie's view of the matter. 
He was walking with his hand still stretched out, — still 
crushing the bishop, when Mr. Robarts was close upon 
him. 

" What, Crawley ! upon my word I am very glad to 
see you ; you are coming up to me, of course ? " 

" Thank you, Mr. Robarts ; no, not to-day. The 
bishop has summoned me to his presence, and I am 
on my road to Barchester." 

" But how are you going ? " 

" I shall walk." 

" Walk to Barchester. Impossible ! *' 

" I hope not quite impossible, Mr. Robarts. I trust 
I shall get as far before two o'clock ; but to do so I 
must be on my road." Then he showed signs of a 
desire to go on upon his way without further parley. 

" But, Crawley, do let me send you over. There is 
the horse and gig doing nothing." 

"Thank you, Mr. Robarts; no. I should prefer 
the walk to-day." 

" And you have walked from Hogglestock ? " 

" No ; — ^not so. A neighbour coming hither, who 
happened to have business at your mill, — ^he brought 
me so far in his cart. The walk home will be nothing, 
— ^nothing. I shall enjoy it. Good-morning, Mr. 
Robarts." 

But Mr. Robarts thought of the dirty road, and of 
the bishop's presence, and of his own ideas of what 
would be becoming for a clergyman, — ^and persevered. 
" You will find the lanes so very muddy ; and our 



24^ THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

bishop, you know, is apt to notice such things. Do 
be persuaded." 

" Notice what things ? " demanded Mr. Crawley, in 
an indignant tone. 

" He, or perhaps she rather, will say how dirty your 
shoes were when you came to the palace." 

" If he, or she, can find nothing unclean about me 
but my shoes, let them say their worst. I shall be very 
indifferent. I have long ceased, Mr. Robarts, to care 
much what any man or woman may say about my 
shoes. Good-morning." Then he stalked on, clutch- 
ing and crushing in his hand the bishop, and the 
bishop's wife, and the whole diocese, and all the Church 
of England. Dirty shoes, indeed! Whose was the 
fault that there were in the church so many feet soiled 
by unmerited poverty, and so many hands soiled by 
undeserved wealth? If the bishop did not like his 
shoes, let the bishop dare to tell him so ! So he walked 
on through the thick of the mud, by no means picking 
his way. 

He walked fast, and he found himself in the close 
half an hour before the time named by the bishop. 
But on no account would he have rung the palace bell 
one minute before two o'clock. So he walked up and 
down under the towers of the cathedral, and cooled 
himself, and looked up at the pleasant plate-glass in 
the windows of the house of his friend the dean, and 
told himself how, in their college days, he and the dean 
had been quite equal,— quite equal, except that by 
the voices of all qualified judges in the university, he, 
Mr Crawley, had been acknowledged to be the riper 
scholar. And now the Mr. Arabin of those days was 
Dean of Barchester, — ^travelling abroad luxuriously at 



MR. CRAWLEY IS SUMMONED TO BARCHESTER. 241 

this moment for his delight, while he, Crawley, was 
perpetual curate at Hogglestock, and had now walked 
into Barchester at the command of the bishop, because 
he was suspected of haying stolen twenty pounds! 
When he had fully imbued his mind with the injustice 
of all tliis, his time was up, and he walked boldly to 
the bishop's gate, and boldly rang the bishop's bell. 



VOL. I. — 1(J 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE BISHOP OF BARCHESTER IS CRUSHED. 

Who inquires why it is that a little greased flour 
rubbed in among the hair on a footman's head, — ^just 
one dab here and another there, — gives such a tone of 
high life to the family ? And seeing that the thing is 
so easily done, why do not more people attempt it ? 
The tax on hair-powder is but thirteen shiUings a year. 
It may, indeed, be that the slightest dab in the world 
justifies the wearer in demanding hot meat three times 
a day, and wine at any rate on Sundays. I think, 
however, that a bishop's wife may enjoy the privilege 
without such heavy attendant expense ; otherwise the 
man who opened the bishop's door to Mr. Crawley 
would hardly have been so ornamented. 

The man asked for a card. " My name is Mr. 
Crawley," said our friend. " The bishop has desired 
me to come to him at this hour. Will you be pleased 
to tell him that I am here." The man again asked for 
a card. " I am not bound to carry with me my name 
printed on a ticket," said Mr. Crawley. "If you 
cannot remember it, give me pen and paper, and I 
will write it." The servant, somewhat awed by the 
stranger's manner, brought the pen and paper, and Mr. 
Crawley wrote his name — 

" The Rev. Josiah Crawley, M. A., 

Perpetual Curate of Hogglestock^^ 
242 



THE BISHOP OF BARCHESTER IS CRUSHED. 243 

He was then ushered into a waiting-room, but, to 
his disappointment, was not kept there waiting long. 
Within three minutes he was ushered into the bishop's 
study, and into the presence of the two great lumina- 
ries of the diocese. He was at first somewhat discon- 
certed by finding Mrs. Proudie in the room. In the 
imaginary conversation with the bishop which he had 
been preparing on the road, he had conceived that the 
bishop would be attended by a chaplain, and he had 
suited his words to the joint discomfiture of the bishop 
and of the lower clergyman ; but now the line of his 
battle must be altered. This was no doubt an injury, 
but he trusted to his courage and readiness to enable 
him to surmount it. He had left his hat behind him 
in the waiting-room, but he kept his old short cloak 
still upon his shoulders; and when he entered the 
bishop's room his hands and arms were hid beneath it 
There was something lowly in this constrained gait. It 
showed at least that he had no idea of being asked to 
shake hands with the august persons he might meet. 
And his head was somewhat bowed, though his great, 
bald, broad forehead showed itself so prominent, that 
neither the bishop nor Mrs. Proudie could drop it from 
their sight during the whole interview. He was a man 
who when seen could hardly be forgotten. The deep 
angry remonstrant eyes, the shaggy eyebrows, telling 
tales of frequent anger,— of anger frequent but gener- 
ally silent, — ^the repressed indignation of the habitual 
frown, the long nose and large powerful mouth, the 
deep furrows on the cheek, and the general look of 
thought and suffering, all combined to make the ap- 
pearance of tlie man remarkable, and to describe to 
the beholden^ at once his true character. No one ever 



244 '^^^ ^^^ CHRONICLE OF BARSCT. 

on seeing Mr. Crawley took him to be a happy man, 
or a weak man, or an ignorant man, or a wise man. 

"You are very pmictual, Mr. Crawley," said the 
bishop. Mr. Crawley simply bowed his head, still keep- 
ing his hands beneath his cloak. " Will you not take a 
chair nearer to the fire ? " Mr. Crawley had not seated 
himself, but had placed himself in front of a chair at 
the extreme end of the room, resolved that he would 
not use it unless he were duly asked. Now he seated 
himself, — still at a distance. 

" Thank you, my lord," he said, " I am warm with 
walking, and, if you please, will avoid the fire." 

" You have not walked, Mr. Crawley ? " 

" Yes, my lord. I have been walking." 

" Not from Hogglestock ! " 

Now this was a matter which Mr. Crawley certainly 
did not mean to discuss with the bishop. It might 
be well for the bishop to demand his presence in the 
palace, but it could be no part of the bishop's duty to 
inquire how he got there. " That, my lord, is a mat- 
ter of no moment," said he. " I am glad at any rate 
that I have been enabled to obey your lordship's order 
in coming hither on this morning." 

Hitherto Mrs. Proudie had not said a word. She 
stood back in the room, near the fire, — more backward 
a good deal than she was accustomed to do when 
clergymen made their ordinary visits. On such occa- 
sions she would come forward and shake hands with 
them graciously, — graciously even, if proudly ; but she 
had felt that she must do nothing of that kind now ; 
there must be no shaking hands with a man who had 
stolen a cheque for twenty pounds! It might probably 
be necessary to keep Mr. Crawley at a distance, and 



THE BISHOP OF BARCHESTER IS CRUSHED. 245 

therefore she had remained in the background. But 
Mr. Crawley seemed to be disposed to keep himself in 
the background, and therefore she could speak. " I 
hope your wife and children are well, Mr. Crawley ? " 
she said. 

"Thank you, madam, my children are well, and 
Mrs. Crawley suffers no special ailment at present." 

"That is much to be thankful for, Mr. Crawley." 
Whether he were or were not thankful for such mer- 
cies as these was no business of the bishop or of the 
bishop's wife. That was between him and his God. 
So he would not even bow to this civility, but sat with 
his head erect, and with a great frown on his heavy 
brow. 

Then the bishop rose from his chair to speak, 
intending to take up a position on the rug. But as 
he did so Mr. Crawley rose also, and the bishop found 
that he would thus lose his expected vantage. " Will 
you not be seated, Mr. Crawley ? " said the bishop. 
Mr. Crawley smiled, but stood his ground. Then the 
bishop returned to his arm-chair, and Mr. Crawley also 
sat down again. " Mr. Crawley," began the bishop, 
"this matter which came the other day before the 
magistrates at Silverbridge has been a most unfortunate 
affair. It has given me, I can assure you, the most 
sincere pain." 

Mr. Crawley had made up his mind how far the 
bishop should be allowed to go without a rebuke. He 
had told himself that it would only be natural, and 
would not be unbecoming, that the bishop should 
allude to the meeting of the magistrates and to the 
alleged theft, and that therefore such allusion should 
be endured with patient humility. And, moreover, the 



246 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET 

more rope he gave the bishop, the more h*kely the 
bishop would be to entangle himself. It certainly was 
Mr. Crawley's wish that the bishop should entangle 
himself. He, therefore, replied very meekly, *' It has 
been most unfortunate, my lord." 

"I have felt for Mrs. Crawley very deeply," said 
Mrs. Proudie. Mr. Crawley had now made up his 
mind that as long as it was possible he would ignore 
the presence of Mrs. Proudie altogether; and, there- 
fore, he made no sign that he heard the latter remark. 

"It has been most unfortunate," continued the 
bishop. " I have never before had a clergyman in my 
diocese placed in so distressing a position." 

" That is a matter of opinion, my lord," said Mr. 
Crawley, who at that moment thought of a crisis which 
had come in the life of another clergyman in the dio^ 
cese of Barchester, with the circumstances of which he 
had by chance been made acquainted. 

'* Exactly," said the bishop. *' And I am expressing 
my opinion." Mr. Crawley, who understood fighting, 
did not think that the time had yet come for striking 
a blow, so he simply bowed again. '' A most unfortu- 

« 

nate position, Mr. Crawley," continued the bishop. 
" Far be it from me to express an opinion upon the 
matter, which will have to come before a jury of your 
countrymen. It is enough for me to know that the 
magistrates assembled at Silverbridge, gentlemen to 
whom no doubt you must be known, as most of them 
live in your neighbourhood, have heard evidence upon 

the subject " 

"Most convincing evidence," said Mrs. Proudie, 
interrupting her husband. Mr. Crawley's black brow 
became a little blacker as he heard the word, but still 



THE BISHOP OF BARCHESTER IS CRUSHED. 247 

he ignored the woman. He not only did not speak, 
but did not turn his eye upon her. 

"They have heard the evidence on the subject," 
continued the bishop, " and they have thought it proper 
to refer the decision as to your innocence or your guilt 
to a jury of your countrymen." 

" And they were right," said Mr. Crawley. 

" Very possibly. I don't deny it. Probably," said 
the bishop, whose eloquence was somewhat disturbed 
by Mr. Crawley's ready acquiescence. 

" Of course they were right," said Mrs. Proudie. 

" At any rate it is so," said the bishop. " You are 
in die position of a man amenable to the criminal laws 
of the land." 

" There are no criminal laws, my lord," said Mr. 
Crawley ; " but to such laws as there are we are all 
amenable, — ^your lordship and I alike." 

" But you are so in a very particular way. I do not 
wish to remind you what might be yoiu* condition now, 
but for the interposition of private friends." 

" I should be in the condition of a man not guilty 
before the law, — guiltless, as far as the law goes, — ^but 
kept in durance, not for faults of his own, but because 
otherwise, by reason of laches in the police, his pres- 
ence at the assizes might not be ensured. In such a 
position a man's reputation is made to hang for a 
while on the trust which some friends or neighbours 
may have in it. I do not say that the test is a good 
one." 

" You would have been put in prison, Mr. Crawley, 
because the magistrates were of the opinion that you 
had taken Mr. Soames's cheque," said Mrs. Proudie. 
On this occasion he did look at her. He turned one 



it 
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248 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

glance upon her from under his eyebrows, but he did 
not speak. 

" With all that I have nothing to do," said the bishop. 
Nothing whatever, my lord," said Mr. Crawley. 
But, bishop, I think that you have," said Mrs. 
Proudie. " The judgment formed by the magistrates 
as to the conduct of one of your clergymen makes it 
imperative upon you to act in the matter." 

" Yes, my dear, yes ; I am coming to that. What 
Mrs. Proudie says is perfectly true. I have been con- 
strained most unwillingly to take action in this matter. 
It is undoubtedly the fact that you must at the next 
assizes surrender yourself at the comt-house yonder, 
to be tried for this offence against the laws." 

" That is true. If I be alive, my lord, and have 
strength sufficient, I shall be there." 

"You must be there," said Mrs. Proudie. "The 
police will look to that, Mr. Crawley." She was be- 
coming very angry in that the man would not answer 
her a word. On this occasion again he did not even 
look at her. 

" Yes ; you will be there," said the bishop. " Now 
that is, to say the least of it, an unseemly position for 
a beneficed clergyman." 

"You said before, my lord, that it was an unfort- 
unate position, and the word, methinks, was better 
chosen." 

" It is very unseemly, very unseemly indeed," said 
Mrs. Proudie ; " nothing could possibly be more un- 
seemly. The bishop might very properly have used a 
much stronger word." 

" Under these circumstances," continued the bishop, 
" looking to the welfare of your parish, to the welfare 



THE BISHOP OF BARCHESTER IS CRUSHED. 249 

of the diocese, and allow me to say, Mr. Crawley, to 
the welfare of yourself also " 

"And especially to the souls of the people," said 
Mrs. Proudie. 

The bishop shook his head. It is hard to be im- 
pressively eloquent when one is interrupted at every 
best turned period, even by a supporting voice. " Yes ; 
— and looking of course to the religious interests of 
your people, Mr. Crawley, I came to the conclusion 
that it would be expedient that you should cease your 
ministrations for a while." The bishop paused, and 
Mr. Crawley bowed his head. "I, therefore, sent 
over to you a gentleman with whom I am well ac- 
quainted, Mr. Thumble, with a letter from myself, in 
which I endeavo>ired to impress upon you, without the 
use of any severe /anguage, what my convictions were." 

" Sevf re words ire often the best mercy," said Mrs. 
Proudie. Mr. Crawley had raised his hand, with his 
finger out, preparatory to answering the bishop. But 
as Mrs. Proudie had spoken he dropped his finger ^d 
was silent. 

" Mr. Thimible brought me back your written reply," 
continued the bishop, '* by which I was grieved to find 
that you were not willing to submit yourself to my 
counsel in the matter." 

" I was most unwilling, my lord. Submission to 
authority is at times a duty ; — and at times opposition 
to authority is a duty also." 

" Opposition to just authority cannot be a duty, Mr. 
Crawley." 

" Opposition to usurped authority is an imperative 
duty," said Mr. Crawley. 

" And who is to be the judge ? " demanded Mrs. 



250 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Proudie. Then there was silence for a while ; when, 
as Mr. Crawley made no reply, the lady repeated her 
question. " Will you be pleased to answer my ques- 
tion, sir ? Who, in such a case, is to be the judge ? " 
But Mr. Crawley did not please to answer. "The 
man is obstinate,'' said Mrs. Proudie. 

" I had better proceed," said the bishop. " Mr. 
Thumble brought me back your reply, which grieved 
me greatly." 

"It was contumacious and indecent," said Mrs. 
Proudie. 

The bishop again shook his head and looked so 
unutterably miserable that a smile came across Mr. 
Crawley's face. After all, others besides himself had 
their troubles and trials. Mrs. Proudie saw and un- 
derstood the smile, and became more angry than ever. 
She drew her chair close to the table, and liegan to 
fidget with her fingers among the papers. She had 
never before encountered a clergyman so contuma- 
cious, so indecent, so unreverend, — ^so upsetting. She 
had had to do with men difficult to manage; — the 
archdeacon for instance; but the archdeacon had 
never been so impertinent to her as this man. She 
had quarrelled once openly with a chaplain of her 
husband's, a clergyman whom she herself had intro- 
duced to her husband, and who had treated her yery 
badly; — ^but not so badly, not with such unscrupulous 
violence, as she was now encountering from this ill- 
clothed beggarly man, this perpetual curate, with his 
dirty broken boots, this already half-conyicted thief! 
Such was her idea of Mr. Crawley's conduct to her, 
while she was fingering the papers, — simply because 
Mr. Crawley would not speak to her. 






THE BISHOP OF BARCHESTER IS CRUSHED. 25 1 

"I forget where I was," said the bishop. "Oh. 
Mr. Thumble came back, and I received your letter ; 
— of course I received it. And I was surprised to 
learn from that, that in spite of what had occurred 
at Silverbridge, you were still anxious to continue the 
usual Sunday ministrations in your church." 

"I was determined that I would do my duty at 
Hogglestock as long as I might be left there to do it," 
said Mr. Crawley. 

Duty!" said Mrs. Proudie. 

Just a moment, my dear," said 4he bishop. " When 
Sunday came, I had no alternative but to send Mr. 
Thumble over again to Hogglestock. It occurred to 
us, — ^to me and Mrs. Proudie " 

" I will tell Mr. Crawley just now what has occurred 
to me," said Mrs. Proudie. 

"Yes; — ^just so. And I am sure that he will take 
it in good part. It occurred to me, Mr. Crawley, that 
your first letter might have been written in haste." 

" It was written in haste, my lord ; your messenger 
was waiting." 

" Yes ; — ^just so. Well ; so I sent him again, hoping 
that he might be accepted as a messenger of peace. 
It was a most disagreeable mission for any gentleman, 
Mr. Crawley." 

Most disagreeable, my lord." 
And you refused him permission to obey the in- 
structions which I had given him ! You would not let 
him read from your desk, or preach from your pulpit." 

" Had I been Mr. Thumble," said Mrs. Proudie, " I 
would have read from that desk and I would have 
preached from that pulpit." 

Mr. Crawley waited a* moment, thinking that the 



it 
ti 



4t 
tt 



252 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSFT. 

bishop might perhaps speak again ; but as he did not, 
but sat expectant, as though he had finished his dis- 
course, and now expected a reply, Mr. Crawley got up 
from his seat and drew near to the table. " My lord," 
he began, " it has all been just as you have said. I 
did answer your first letter in haste." 

" The more shame for you," said Mrs. Proudie. 

*' And therefore, for aught I know, my letter to your 
lordship may be so worded as to need some apology." 
Of course it needs an apology," said Mrs. Proudie. 
But for the matter of it, my lord, no apology can 
be made, nor is any needed. I did refuse to your 
messenger permission to perform the services of my 
church, and if you send twenty more, I shall refuse 
them all, — ^till the time may come when it will be youi 
lordship's duty, in accordance with the laws of the 
church, as borne out and backed by the laws of the 
land, to provide during my constrained absence for the 
spiritual wants of those poor people at Hogglestock." 

" Poor people, indeed," said Mrs. Proudie. " Poor 
wretches!" 

" And, my lord, it may be, that it shall soon be your 
lordship's duty to take due and legal steps for depriv- 
ing me of my benefice at Hogglestock; — ^nay, proba- 
bly, for silencing me altogether as to the exercise of my 
sacred profession! " 

" Of course it will, sir. Your gown will be taken 
from you," said Mrs. Proudie. The bishop was look- 
ing with all his eyes up at the great forehead and great 
eyebrows of the man, and was so fascinated by the 
power that was exercised over him by the other man's 
strength that he hardly now noticed his wife. 

" It may well be so," continued Mr. Crawley. " The 



(t 



THE BISHOP OF BARCHESTER IS CRUSHED. 253 

circumstances are strong against me ; and, though your 
lordship has altogether misunderstood the nature of the 
duty performed by the magistrates in sending my case 
for trial, — although, as it seems to me, you have come 
to conclusions in this matter in ignorance of the very 
theory of our laws " 

''Sir!" said Mrs. Proudie. 

" Yet I can foresee the probability that a jury may 
discover me to have been guilty of theft." 

Of course the jury will do so," said Mrs. Proudie. 
Should such verdict be given, then, my lord, your 
interference will be legal, proper, and necessary. And 
you will find that, even if it be within my power to 
oppose obstacles to your lordship's authority, I will 
oppose no such obstacle. There is, I believe, no ap- 
peal in criminal cases." 

" None at all," said Mrs. Proudie. " There is no 
appeal against your bishop. You should have learned 
that before." 

" But till that time shall come, my lord, I shall hold 
my own at Hogglestock as you hold your own here at 
Barchester. Nor have you more power to turn me 
out of my pulpit by your mere voice, than I have to 
turn you out of your throne by mine. If you doubt 
me, my lord, your lordship's ecclesiastical court is open 
to you. Try it there." 

" You defy us, then ? " said Mrs. Proudie. 

" My lord, I grant your authority as bishop to be 
great, but even a bishop can only act as the law allows 
him." 

God forbid that I should do more," said the bishop. 
Sir, you will find that your wicked threats will fall 
back upon your own head," said Mrs. Proudie. 



it 



254 "I^HE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" Peace, womaiij" Mr. Crawley said, addressing her 
at last. The bishop jumped out of his chair at hearing 
the wife of his bosom called a woman. But he jumped 
rather in admiration than in anger. He had already 
begun to perceive that Mr. Crawley was a man who 
had better be left to take care of the souls at Hoggle- 
stock, at any rate till the trial should come on. 

" Woman 1 " said Mrs, Proudie, rising to her feet as 
though she really intended some personal encounter. 

" Madam," said Mr. Crawley, " you should not inter- 
fere in these matters. You simply debase your hus- 
band's high office. The distaff were more fitting for 
you. My lord, good-morning." And before either of 
them could speak again, he was out of the room, and 
through the hall, and beyond the gate, and standing 
beneath the towers of the cathedral. Yes, he had, he 
thought, crushed the bishop. He had succeeded in 
crumpling the bishop up within the clutch of his fist. 

He started in a spirit of triumph to walk back on 
his road towards Hogglestock. He did not think of 
the long distance before him for the first hour of his 
journey. He had had his victory, and the remem- 
brance of that braced his nerves and gave elasticity to 
his sinews, and he went stalking along the road with 
rapid strides, muttering to himself from time to time as 
he went along some word about Mrs. Proudie and her 
distaff. Mr. Thumble would not, he thought, come to 
him again, — not, at any rate, till the assizes were draw- 
ing near. And he had resolved what he would do 
then. When the dav of his trial was near, he would 
himself write to the bishop, and beg that provision 
might be made for his church, in the event of the ver- 
dict going against him. His friend, Dean Arabin, was 



THE BISHOP QF BARCHESTER IS CRUSHED. 255 

to be home before that time) and the idea had occurred 
to him of asking the dean to see to this. But the 
other would be the more independent course, and the 
better. And there was a matter as to which he was 
not altogether well pleased with the dean, although he 
was so conscious of his own peculiarities as to know 
that he could hardly trust himself for a judgment. 
But, at any rate, he would apply to the bishop, — to the 
bishop whom he had just left prostrate in his palace, — 
when the time of his trial should be close at hand. 

Full -of such thoughts as these he went along almost 
gaily, nor felt the fatigue of the road till he had covered 
the first five miles out of Barchester. It was nearly 
four o'clock, and the thick gloom of the winter even- 
ing was making itself felt. And then he began to be 
fatigued. He had not as yet eaten since he had left 
his home in the morning, and he now pulled a crust 
out of his pocket and leaned against a gate as he 
crunched it. There were still ten miles before him, and 
he knew that such an addition to the work he had 
already done would task him very severely. Farmer 
Mangle had told him that he would not leave Framley 
Mill till five, and he had got time to reach Framley 
Mill by that time. But he had said that he would not 
return to Framley Mill, and he remembered his sus- 
picion that his wife and farmer Mangle between them 
had cozened him. No ; he would persevere and walk, 
— walk, though he should drop upon the road. He 
was now nearer fifty than forty years of age, and hard- 
ships as well as time had told upon him. He knew 
that though his strength was good for the commence- 
ment of a hard day's work, it would not hold out for 
him as it used to do. He knew that the last four miles 



2$6 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

in the dark night would be very sad with him. But 
still he persevered, endeavouring, as he went, to cherish 
himself with the remembrance of his triumph. 

He passed the turning going down to Framley with 
courage, but when he came to the further turning, by 
which the cart would return from Framley to the Hog- 
glestock road, he looked wistfully down the road for 
farmer Mangle. But farmer Mangle was still at the 
mill, waiting in expectation that Mr. Crawley might 
come to him. But the poor traveller paused here 
barely for a minute, and then went on, stumbling 
through the mud, striking his ill-covered feet against 
the rough stones in the dark, sweating in his weakness, 
almost tottering at times, and calculating whether his 
remaining strength would serve to carry him home. 
He had almost forgotten the bishop and his wife 
before at last he grasped the wicket gate leading to 
his own door. 

" Oh, mamma, here is papa! " 

" But where is the cart ? I did not hear the wheels," 
said Mrs. Crawley. 

" Oh, mamma, I think papa is ill." Then the wife 
took her drooping husband by both arms and strove to 
look him in the face. " He has walked all the way, 
and he is ill," said Jane. 

" No, my dear, I am very tired, but not ill. Let 
me sit down, and give me some bread and tea, and I 
shall recover myself." Then Mrs. Crawley, from some 
secret hoard, got him a small • modicum of spirits, and 
gave him meat and tea, and he was docile ; and, obey- 
ing her behests, allowed himself to be taken to his bed. 

" I do not think the bishop will send for me again," 
he said, as she tucked the clothes around him. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

"WHERE DID IT COME FROM?" 

When Christmas morning came no emissary from 
the bishop appeared at Hogglestock to interfere with 
the ordinary performance of the day's services. " I 
think we need fear no further disturbance," Mr. Craw- 
ley said to his wife, — and there was no further dis- 
turbance. 

On the day after his walk from Framley to Barches- 
ter, and from Barchester back to Hogglestock, Mr. 
Crawley had risen not much the worse for his labour, 
and had gradually given to his wife a full account of 
what had taken place. " A poor weak man," he said, 
speaking of the bishop. " A poor weak creature, and 
much to be pitied." 

I have always heard that she is a violent woman." 
Very violent, and very ignorant ; and most intru- 
sive withal." 

" And you did not answer her a word ? " 
" At last my forbearance with her broke down, and 
I bade her mind her distaff." 

What ; — ^really ? Did you say those words to her ? " 
Nay ; as for my exact words I cannot remember 
them. I was thinking more of the words which it 
might be fitting that I should answer the bishop. But 
I certainly told her that she had better mind her dis- 
taff." 

VOL. I. — 17 257 



it 






258 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. . 

" And how did she behave then ? " 

" I did not wait to see. The bishop had spoken, 
and I had replied ; and why should I tarry to behold 
the woman's violence ? I had told him that he was 
wrong in law, and that I at least would not submit to 
usurped authority. There was nothing to keep me 
longer, and so I went without much ceremony of leave- 
taking. There had been little ceremony of greeting on 
their part, and there was less in the making of adieux 
on mine. They had told me that I was a thief " 

" No, Josiah, — surely not so ? They did not use 
that very word ? " 

" I say they did ; — they did use the very word. But 
stop. I am wrong. I wrong his lordship, and I crave 
pardon for having done so. If my memory serve 
me, no expression so harsh escaped from the bishop's 
mouth. He gave me, indeed, to understand more than 
once that the action taken by the magistrates was tan- 
tamount to a conviction, and that I must be guilty 
because they had decided that there was evidence suf- 
ficient to justify a trial. But all that arose from my 
lord's ignorance of the administration of the laws of 
his country. He was very ignorant, — ^puzzle-pated, as 
you may call it, — led by the nose by his wife, weak as 
water, timid, and vacillating. But he did not wish, I 
think, to be insolent. It was Mrs. Proudie who told 
me to my face that I was a — thief." 

" May she be punished for the cruel word ! " said 
Mrs. Crawley. " May the remembrance that she has 
spoken it come, some day, heavily upon her heart! " 

" ' Vengeance is mine. I will repay, saith the Lord,* " 
answered Mr. Crawley. "We may safely leave all 
that alone, and rid our minds of such wishes, if it be 



"WHERE DID IT COME FROM?" 259 

possible. It is well, I think, that violent offences, when 
committed, should be met by instant rebuke. To turn 
the other cheek instantly to the smiter can hardly be 
suitable in these days, when the hands of so many are 
raised to strike. But the return blow should be given 
only while the smart remains. She hurt me then ; but 
what is it to me now, that she called me a thief to my 
face ? Do I not know that, all the country round, men 
and women are calling me the same behind my back ? " 

" No, Josiah, you do not know that. They say that 
the thing is very strange, — so strange that it requires 
a trial ; but no one thinks you have taken that which 
was not your own." 

" I think I did. I myself think I took that which 
was not my own. My poor head suffers so ; — so many 
grievous thoughts distract me, that I am like a child, 
and know not what I do." As he spoke thus he put 
both hands up to his head, leaning forward as though 
in anxious thought, — ^as though he were striving to 
bring his mind to bear with accuracy upon past events. 

" It could not have been mine, and yet " Then 

he sat silent, and made no effort to continue his speech. 

" And yet ? " — said his wife, encouraging him to 
proceed. If she could only learn the real truth, she 
thought that she might perhaps yet save him, with 
assistance from their friends. 

" When I said that I had gotten it from that man I 
must have been mad." 

" From which man, love ? " 

" From the man Soames, — ^he who accuses me. And 
yet, as the Lord hears me, I thought so then. The 
truth is, that there are times when I am not — sane. I 
am not a thief, — not before God ; but I am — mad at 



26o THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

times." These last words he spoke very slowly, in 
a whisper, — without any excitement, — ^indeed with a 
composure which was horrible to witness. And what 
he said was the more terrible because she was so well 
convinced of the truth of his words. Of course he 
was no thief. She wanted no one to tell her that. 
As he himself had expressed it, he was no thief before 
God, however the money might have come into his 
possession. That there were times when his reason, 
once so fine and clear, could not act, could not be 
trusted to guide him right, she had gradually come to 
know with fear and trembling. But he himself had 
never before hinted his own consciousness of this ca- 
lamity. Indeed, he had been so unwilling to speak of 
himself and of his own state, that she had been unable 
even to ask him a question about the money, — ^lest he 
should suspect that she suspected him. Now he was 
speaking, — but speaking with such heart-rending sad- 
ness that she could hardly urge him to go on. 

" You havo sometimes been ill, Josiah, as any of us 
may be," she aid, " and that has been the cause." 

'* There are different kinds of sickness. There is 
sickness of the body, and sickness of the heart, and 
sickness of the spirit ; — ^and then there is sickness of 
the mind, the worst of all." 

" With you, Josiah, it has chiefly been the first." 

" With me, Mary, it has been all of them,— every 
one! My spirit is broken, and my mind has not been 
able to keep its even tenour amidst the ruins. But I 
will strive. I will strive. I will strive still. And if 
God helps me, I will prevail." Then he took up his hat 
and cloak, and went forth among the lanes ; and on 
this occasion his wife was glad that he should go alone. 



"WHERE DID IT COME FROM?" 26 1 

This occurred a day or two before Christmas, and 
Mrs. Crawley during those days said nothing more to 
her husband on the subject which he had so unexpect- 
edly discussed. She asked him no questions about the 
money, or as to the possibihty of his exercising his 
memory, nor did she counsel him to plead that the 
false excuses given by him for his possession of the 
cheque had been occasioned by the sad slip to which 
sorrow had in those days subjected his memory and 
his intellect. But the matter had always been on her 
mind. Might it not be her paramoimt duty to do 
something of this at the present moment ? Might it 
not be that his acquittal or conviction would depend 
on what she might now learn from him ? It was clear 
to her that he was brighter in spirit since his encounter 
with the Proudies than he had ever been since the 
accusation had been first made against him. And she 
knew well that his present mood would not be of long 
continuance. He would fall again int6 his moody 
silent ways, and then the chance of learning aught from 
him would be past, and, perhaps, for eieer. 

He performed the Christmas services with nothing 
of special despondency in his tone or manner, and his 
wife thought that she had never hf ard him give the 
sacrament with more impressive .dignity. After the 
service he stood awhile at the churchyard gate, and 
exchanged a word of courtesy as to the season with 
such of the families of the farmers as had stayed for 
the Lord's Supper. 

" I waited at Framley for your reverence till arter 
six, — so I did," said farmer Mangle. 

" I kept the road, and walked the whole way," said 
Mr. Crawley. '' I think I told you that I should not 



262 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET, 

return to the mill. But I am not the less obliged by 
your great kindness." 

" Say nowt o' that," said the farmer. " No doubt I 
had business at the mill, — ^lots to do at the mill." Nor 
did he think that the fib he was telling was at all in- 
compatible with the Holy Sacrament in which he had 
just taken a part. 

The Christmas dinner at the parsonage was not a 
repast that did much honour to the season, but it was 
a better dinner than the inhabitants of that house 
usually saw on the board before them. There was 
roast-pork, and mince-pies, and a bottle of wine. As 
Mrs. Crawley with her own hand put the meat upon the 
table, and then, as was her custom in their house, pro- 
ceeded to cut it up, she looked at her husband's face 
to see whether he was scrutinising the food with pain- 
ful eye. It was better that she should tell the truth at 
once than that she should be made to tell it, in answer 
to a question. Everything on the table, except the 
bread and potatoes, had come in a basket from Fram- 
ley Court. Pork had been sent instead of beef, be- 
cause people in the country, when they kill their pigs, 
do sometimes give each other pork, — ^but do not ex- 
change joints of beef, when they slay their oxen. All 
this was understood by Mrs. Crawley, but she almost 
wished that beef had been sent, because beef would 
have attracted less attention. He said, however, noth- 
ing as to the meat ; but when his wife proposed to him 
that he should eat a mince-pie he resented it. " The 
bare food," said he, " is bitter enough, coming as it 
does ; but that would choke me." She did not press 
it, but eat one herself, as otherwise her girl would have 
been forced also to refuse the dainty. 



tt 



WHERE DID IT COME FROM?" 263 



That evening, as soon as Jane was in bed, she re- 
solved to ask him some further questions. " You will 
have a lawyer, Josiah, — will you not ? " she said. 

" Why should I have a lawyer ? " 

" Because he will know what questions to ask, and 
how questions on the other side should be answered." 

" I have no questions to ask, and there is only one 
way in which questions should be answered. I have 
no money to pay a lawyer." 

"But, Josiah, in such a case as this, where your 
honour and our very life depend upon it " 

" Depend on what ? " 

" On your acquittal." 

" I shall not be acquitted. It is as well to look it 
in the face at once. Lawyer or no lawyer, they will 
say that I took the money. Were I upon the jury, 
trying the case myself, knowing all that I know now," 
— ^and as he said this he struck forth with his hand 
into the air, — "I think that I should say so myself. 
A lawyer will do no good. It is here. It is here." 
And again he put his hands up to his head. 

So far she had been successful. At this moment it 
had in truth been her object to induce him to speak of 
his own memory, and not of the aid that a lawyer 
might give. The proposition of the lawyer had been 
brought in to introduce the subject. 

" But, Josiah " 

" WeU ? " 

It was very hard for her to speak. She could not 
bear to torment him by any allusion to his own defi- 
ciencies. She could not endure to make him think that 
she suspected him of any frailty either in intellect or 
thought. Wifelike, she desired to worship him, and 



r» 



264 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

that he should know that she worshipped him. But if 
a word might save him! " Josiah, where did it come 
from ? " 

" Yes," said he ; " yes ; that is the question. Where 
did it come from ? " — and he turned sharp upon her, 
looking at her with all the power of his eyes. " It is 
because I cannot tell you where it came from that I 
ought to be, — either in Bedlam as a madman, or in the 
county gaol as a thief." The words were so dreadful 
to her that she could not utter at the moment another 
syllable. " How is a man, — ^to think himself — fit — ^for 
a man's work, when he cannot answer his wife such 
a plain question as that?" Then he paused again. 
" They should take me to Bedlam at once, — at once, 
— at once. That would not disgrace the children as 
the gaol will do." 

Mrs. Crawley could ask no further questions on that 
evening. 



CHAPTER XX. 

WHAT MR, WALKER THOUGHT ABOUT IT. 

It had been suggested to Mr. Robarts, the parson 
of Framley, that he should endeavour to induce his 
old acquaintance, Mr. Crawely, to employ a lawyer to 
defend him at his trial, and Mr. Robarts had not for- 
gotten the commission which he had undertaken. But 
there were difficulties in the matter of which he was 
well aware. In the first place Mr. Crawley was a man 
whom it had not at any time been easy to advise on 
matters private to himself ; and, in the next place, this 
was a matter on which it was very hard to speak to 
the man implicated, let him be who he would. Mr. 
Robarts had come round to the generally accepted 
idea that Mr. Crawley had obtained possession of the 
cheque illegally, — acquitting his friend in his own 
mind of theft, simply by supposing that he was wool- 
gathering when the cheque came in his way. But in 
speaking to Mr. Crawley, it would be necessary, — so 
he thought, — to pretend a conviction that Mr. Crawley 
was as innocent in fact as in intention. 

He had almost made up his mind to dash at the 

subject when he met Mr. Crawley walking through 

Framley to Barchester, but he had abstained, chiefly 

because Mr. Crawley had been too quick for him, and 

had got away. After that he resolved that it would be 

almost useless for him to go to work unless he should 

265 



266 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

be provided with a lawyer ready and willing to under- 
take the task ; and as he was not so provided at pres- 
ent, he made up his mind that he would go into Silver- 
bridge and see Mr. Walker, the attorney there. Mr. 
Walker always advised everybody in those parts about 
everything, and would be sure to know what would 
be the proper thing to be done in this case. So Mr. 
Robarts got into his gig, and droye himself into Silver- 
bridge. He drove at once to Mr. Walker's office, and 
on arriving there found that the attorney was not at 
that moment within. But Mr. Winthrop was within. 
Would Mr. Robarts see Mr. Winthrop ? Now, seeing 
Mr. Winthrop was a very different thing from seeing 
Mr. Walker, although the two gentiemen were part- 
ners. But still Mr. Robarts said that he would see Mr. 
Winthrop. Perhaps Mr. Walker might return while he 
was there. 

" Is there anything I can do for you, Mr. Robarts ? ** 
asked Mr. Winthrop. Mr. Robarts said that he had 
wished to see Mr. Walker about that poor fellow Craw- 
ley. " Ah, yes ; very sad case! So much sadder being 
a clergyman, Mr. Robarts. We are really quite sorry 
for him ; — ^we are indeed. We would n't have touched 
the case ourselves if we could have helped ourselves. 
We would n't indeed. But we are obliged to take all 
that business here. At any rate he 'U get nothing but 
fair usage from us." 

" I am sure of that. You don't know whether he 
has employed any lawyer as yet to defend him ? " 

" I can't say. We don't know, you know. I should 
say he had, — probably some Barchester attorney. 
Borleys and Bonstock in Barchester are very good 
people, — ^very good people indeed ; — for that sort of 



WHAT MR. WALKER THOUGHT ABOUT IT. 267 

business I mean, Mr. Robarts. I don't suppose they 
have much county property in their hands." 

Mr. Robarts knew that Mr. Winthrop was a fool 
and that he could get no useful advice from him. So 
he suggested that he would take his gig down to the 
inn, and call again before long. " You '11 find that 
Walker knows no more than I do about it," said Mr. 
Winthrop, '* but of course he '11 be glad to see you if 
he happens to come in." So Mr. Robarts went to the 
inn, put up his horse, and then, as he sauntered back 
up the street, met Mr. Walker coming out of the pri- 
vate door of his house. 

" I 've been at home all the morning," he said, " but 
I 've had a stiff job of work on hand, and told them 
to say in the office that I was not in. Seen Winthrop, 
have you ? I don't suppose he did know that I was 
here. The clerks often know more than the partners. 
About Mr. Crawley is it ? Come into my dining-room, 
Mr. Robarts, where we shall be alone. Yes ; — it is a 
bad case ; a very bad case. The pity is that anybody 
should ever have said anything about it. Lord bless 
me, if I 'd been Soames I 'd have let him have the 
twenty pounds. Lord Lufton would never have al- 
lowed Soames to lose it," 

" But Soames wanted to find out the truth." 

" Yes ; — ^that was just it. Soames could n't bear to 
think that he should be left in the dark, and then, 
when the poor man said that Soames had paid the 
cheque to him in the way of business, — ^it was not 
odd that Soames's back should have been up, was it ? 
But, Mr. Robarts, I should have thought a deal about 
it before I should have brought such a man as Mr. 
Crawley before a bench of magistrates on that charge." 



268 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 



(f 



But between you and me, Mr. Walker, did he steal 
the money ? " 

" Well, Mr. Robarts, you know how I 'm placed." 
" Mr. Crawley is my friend, and of course I want 
to assist him. I was under a great obligation to Mr. 
Crawley once, and I wish to befriend him, whether he 
took the money or not. But I could act so much 
better if I felt siu-e one way or the other." 
" If you ask me, I think he did take it." 
"What!— stole it?" 

" I think he knew it was not his own when he took 
it. You see I don't think he meant to use it when he 
took it. He perhaps had some queer idea that Soames 
had been hard on him, or his lordship, and that the 
money was fairly his due. Then he kept the cheque 
by him till he was absolutely badgered out of his life 
by the butcher up the street there. That was about 
the long and the short of it, Mr. Robarts." 

I suppose so. And now what had he better do ? " 

Well; if^ you ask me He is in very bad 

health, is n't he ? " 

" No ; I should say not. He walked to Barchester 
and back the other day." 

" Did he ? But he *s very queer, is n't he ? " 
" Very odd-mannered indeed." 
And does and says all manner of odd things ? " 
I think you 'd find the bishop would say so after 
that interview." 

" Well ; if it would do any good, you might have 
the bishop examined." 

Examined for what, Mr. Walker ? " 
If you could show, you know, that Crawley has 
got a bee in his bonnet; that the mens sana is not 



it 
t( 






it 
<t 



WHAT MR. WALKER THOUGHT ABOUT IT. 369 

there, in short ; — I think you might manage to have 
the trial postponed." 

" But then somebody must take charge of his living." 
" You parsons could manage that among you ; — ^you 
and the dean and the archdeacon. The archdeacon 
has always got half-a-dozen curates about somewhere. 
And then, — ^after the assizes, Mr. Crawley might come 
to his senses ; and I think, — ^mind, it *s only an idea, — 
but I think the committal might be quashed. It would 
have been temporary insanity, and, — ^though mind, I 
don't give my word for it, — I think he might go on 
and keep his living. I think so, Mr. Robarts." 
" That has never occurred to me." 
" No ; — I dare say not. You see the difficulty is this. 
He 's so stiff-necked, — ^will do nothing himself. Well, 
that will do for one proof of temporary insanity. The 
real truth is, Mr. Robarts, he is as mad as a hatter." 
Upon my word I Ve often thought so." 
And you would n*t mind saying so in evidence, — 
would you ? Well, you see, there is no helping such a 
man in any other way. He won't even employ a law- 
yer to defend him." 

" That was what I had come to you about." 
" I 'm told he won't. Now a man must be mad who 
won't employ a lawyer when he wants one. You see, 
the point we should gain would be this, — ^if we tried to 
get him through as being a little touched in the upper 
story, — whatever we could do for him, we could do 
against his own will. The more he opposed us the 
stronger our case would be. He would swear he was 
not mad at all, and we should say that that was the 
greatest sign of his madness. But when I say we, of 
course I mean you. I must not appear in it." 






270 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 



4i 
tl 

ti 



I wish you could, Mr. Walker." 
Of course I can't ; but that won't make any differ- 
ence.' 

" I suppose he must have a lawyer ? " 

" Yes, he must have a lawyer ; — or rather his friends 
must." 

" And who should employ him, ostensibly ? " 

" Ah ; — there 's the difficulty. His wife would n't 
do it, I suppose ? She could n't do him a better turn." 

" He would never forgive her. And she would 
never consent to act against him." 

" Could you interfere ? " 

" If necessary, I will ; — ^but I hardly know him well 
enough." 

" Has he no father or mother, or uncles or aunts ? 
He must have somebody belonging to him," said Mr. 
Walker. 

Then it occurred to Mr. Robarts that Dean Arabin 
would be the proper person to interfere. Dean Arabin 
and Mr. Crawley had been intimate friends in early 
life, and Dean Arabin knew more of him than did any 
man, at least in those parts. All this Mr. Robarts 
explained to Mr. Walker, and Mr. Walker agreed with 
him that the services of Dean Arabin should if possi- 
ble be obtained. Mr. Robarts would at once write to 
Dean Arabin and explain at length all the circum- 
stances of the case. "The worst of it is, he will 
hardly be home in time," said Mr. Walker. " Perhaps 
he would come a little sooner if you were to press it ? " 

" But we could act in his name in his absence, I 
suppose ? — of com*se with his authority ? " 

" I wish he could be here a month before the assizes, 
Mr. Robarts. It would be better." 



WHAT MR. WALKER THOUGHT ABOUT IT. 27 X 

" And in the mean time shall I say anything to Mr. 
Crawley, myself, about employing a lawyer ? " 

"I think I would. If he turns upon you, as like 
enough he may, and abuses you, that will help us in 
one way. If he should consent, and perhaps he may, 
that would help us in the other way. I 'm told he 's 
been over and upset the whole coach at the palace." 

" I should n*t think the bishop got much out of him," 
said the parson. 

" I don't like Crawley the less for speaking his mind 
free to the bishop," said the attorney, laughing. "And 
he '11 speak it free to you too, Mr. Robarts." 

" He won't break any of my bones. Tell me, Mr. 
Walker, what lawyer shall I name to him ? " 

" You can't have a better man than Mr. Mason, up 
the street there." 

Winthrop proposed Borleys at Barchester." 
No, no, no. Borleys and Bonstock are capital 
people to push a fellow through on a charge of horse- 
stealing, or to squeeze a man for a little money ; but 
they are not the people for Mr. Crawley in such a case 
as this. Mason is a better man; and then Mason 
and I know each other." In saying which Mr. Walker 
winked. 

There was then a discussion between them whether 
Mr. Robarts should go at once to Mr. Mason ; but it 
was decided at last that he should see Mr. Crawley 
and also write to the dean before he did so. The dean 
might wish to employ his own lawyer, and if so the 
double expense should be avoided. " Always remember, 
Mr. Robarts, that when you go into an attorney's office 
door, you will have to pay for it, first or last. In here, 
you see, the dingy old mahogany, bare as it is, makes 






27 2 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

you safe. Or else it 's the salt-cellar, which will not 
allow itself to be polluted by six-and-eightpenny con- 
siderations. But there is the other kind of tax to be 
paid. You must go up and see Mrs. Walker, or you 
won't have her help in this matter." 

Mr. Walker returned to his work, either to some 
private den within his house, or to his office, and 
Mr. Robarts was taken upstairs to the drawing-room. 
There he found Mrs. Walker and her daughter, and 
Miss Anne Prettyman, who had just looked in, full of 
the story of Mr. Crawley's walk to Barchester. Mr. 
Thumble had seen one of Dr. Tempest's curates, and 
had told the whole story, — ^he, Mr. Thumble, having 
heard Mrs. Proudie's version of what had occurred, 
and having, of course, drawn his own deductions from 
her premises. And it seemed that Mr. Crawley had 
been watched as he passed through the close out of 
Barchester. A minor canon had seen him, and had 
declared that he was going at the rate of a hunt, 
swinging his arms on high and speaking very loud, 
though, — as the minor canon said with regret, — the 
words were hardly audible. But there had been no 
doubt as to the man. Mr. Crawley's old hat, and short 
rusty cloak, and dirty boots, had been duly observed 
and chronicled by the minor canon ; and Mr. Thiunble 
had been enabled to put together a not altogether false 
picture of what had occurred. As soon as the greet- 
ings between Mr. Robarts and the ladies had been 
made. Miss Anne Prettyman broke out again, just 
where she had left off when Mr. Robarts came in. 
" They say that Mrs. Proudie declared that she will 
have him sent to Botany Bay ! " 

" Luckily Mrs. Proudie won't have much to do in 



WHAT MR. WALKER TttOUGHt AfiOUT IT. 2J3 

the matter," said Miss Walker, who tanged herself, as 
to church matters, in ranks altogether opposed to those 
commanded by Mrs. Proudie. 

" She will have nothing to do with it, my dear," said 
Mrs. Walker ; " and I dare say Mrs. Proudie was not 
foolish enough to say anything of the kind." 

" Mamma, she would be fool enough to say any- 
thing. Would she not, Mr. Robarts ? " 

" You forget. Miss Walker, that Mts. Proudie is in 
authority over me." 

" So she is, for the matter of that," said the young 
lady ; " but I know very well what you all think of 
her, and say of her too, at Framley. Your friend, 
Lady Lufton, loves her dearly. I wish I could have 
been hidden behind a curtain in the palace, to hear 
what Mr. Crawley said to her." 

Mr. Smillie declares," said Miss Anne Prettyman, 

that the bishop has been ill ever since. Mr. Smillie 
went over to his mother's at Barchester for Christmas, 
and took part of the cathedral duty, and we had Mr. 
Spooner over here in his place. So Mr. Smillie of 
course heard all about it. Only fancy poor Mr. 
Crawley walking all the way from Hogglestock to 
Barchester and back ; — and I am told he hardly had 
a shoe to his foot! Is it not a shame, Mr. Robarts ? " 

" I don't think it was quite so bad as you say, Miss 
Prettyman ; but, upon the whole, I do think it is a 
shame. But what can we do ? " 

" I suppose there are tithes at Hogglestock. Why 
are they not given up to the church, as they ought to 
be?" 

" My dear Miss Prettyman, that is a very large sub- 
ject, and I am afraid it cannot be settled in time to re« 

VOL. I. — 18 



it 
it 



y" 



274 THE LAST t:HRONICLE OF BARSET. 

lieve our poor friend from his distress." Then Mr. 
Robarts escaped from the ladies in Mr. Walker's 
house, who, as it seemed to him, were touching upon 
dangerous ground, and went back to the yard of the 
George Inn for his gig, — the George and Vulture, it 
was properly called, and was the house in which the 
magistrates had sat when they committed Mr. Crawley 
for trial. 

"Footed it every inch of the way, blowed if he 
did n't," the ostler was saying to a gentleman's groom, 
whom Mr. Robarts recognised to be the servant of 
his friend, Major Grantly ; and Mr. Robarts knew that 
they also were talking about Mr. Crawley. Everybody 
in the county was talking about Mr. Crawley. At 
home, at Framley, there was no other subject of dis- 
course. Lady Lufton, the dowager, was full of it, 
being firmly convinced that Mr. Crawley was inno- 
cent, because the bishop was supposed to regard him 
as guilty. There had been a family conclave held at 
Framley Court over that basket of provisions which 
had been sent for the Christmas cheer of the Hoggler 
stock parsonage, each of the three ladies, the two Lady 
Luftons and Mrs. Robarts, having special views of 
their own. How the pork had been substituted for 
the beef by old Lady Lufton, young Lady Lufton 
thinking that after all the beef would be less dangerous, 
and how a small turkey had been rashly suggested by 
Mrs. Robarts, and how certain small articles had been 
inserted in the bottom of the basket which Mrs. Craw- 
ley had never shown to her husband, need not here be 
told at length. But Mr. Robarts, as he heard the two 
grooms talking about Mr. Crawley, began to feel that 
Mr. Crawley had achieved at le^ast celebrity. 



WHAT MR. WALKER THOUGHT ABOUT IT. 275 

The groom touched his hat as Mr. Robarts walked 
up. " Has the major returned home yet ? " Mr. 
Robarts asked. The groom said that his master was 
still at Plumstead, and that he was to go over to Plum- 
stead to fetch the major and Miss Edith in a day or 
two. Then Mr. Robarts got into his gig, and as he 
drove out of the yard he heard the words of the men 
as they returned to the same subject. " Footed it all 
the way," said one. "And yet he 's a gen'leman, too," 
said the other. Mr. Robarts thought of this as he 
drove on, intending to call at Hogglestock on that 
very day on his way home. It was undoubtedly the 
fact that Mr. Crawley was recognised to be a gentle- 
man by all who knew him, high or low, rich or poor, 
by those who thought well of him and by those who 
thought ill. These grooms who had been telling each 
other that this parson, who was to be tried as a thief, 
had been constrained to walk from Hogglestock to 
Barchester and back, because he could not afford to 
travel in any other way, and that his boots were 
cracked and his clothes ragged, had still known him to 
be a gentleman! Nobody doubted it; not even they 
who thought he had stolen the money. Mr. Robarts 
himself was certain of it, and told himself that he knew 
it by evidences which his own education made clear to 
him. But how was it that the grooms knew it ? For 
my part I think that there are no better judges of the 
article than the grooms. 

Thinking still of all which he had heard, Mr. Rob- 
arts found himself at Mr. Crawley's gate at Hoggle- 
stock. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

MR. ROBARTS ON HIS EMBASSY. 

Mr. Robarts was not altogether easy in his mind as 
he approached Mr. Crawley's house. He was aware 
that the task before him was a very difficult one, and 
he had not confidence in himself, — that he was exactly 
the man fitted for the performance of such a task. He 
was a little afraid of Mr. Crawley, acknowledging tac- 
itly to himself that the man had a power of ascendancy 
with which he would hardly be able to cope success- 
fully. In old days he had once been rebuked by Mr. 
Crawley, and had been cowed by the rebuke; and 
though there was no touch of rancour in his heart on 
this account, no slightest remaining venom, — ^but rather 
increased respect and friendship, — still he was unable 
to overcome the remembrance of the scene in which 
the perpetual curate of Hogglestock had undoubtedly 
had the mastery of him. So, when two dogs have 
fought and one has conquered, the conquered dog will 
always show an unconscious submission to the con- 
queror. 

He hailed a boy on the road as he drew near to the 
house, knowing that he would find no one at the par- 
sonage to hold his horse for him, and was thus able 
without delay to walk through the garden and knock 
at the door. " Papa was not at home," Jane said. 

276 



MR. ROBARTS ON HIS EMBASSY. 277 

" Papa was at the school. But papa could certainly 
be summoned. She herself would nm across to the 
school if Mr. Robarts would co^le in." So Mr. Rob- 
arts entered, and found Mrs. Crawley in the sitting* 
room. Mr. Crawley would be in directly, she said. 
And then, hurrying on to the subject with confused 
haste, in order that a word or two might be spoken 
before her husband came back, she expressed her 
thanks and his for the good things which had been 
sent to them at Christmastide. 

" It 's old Lady Lufton's doings," said Mr. Robarts, 
trying to laugh the matter over. 

" I knew that it came from Framley, Mr. Robarts, 
and I know how good you all are there. I have not 
written to thank Lady Luf ton. I thought it better not 
to write. You sister will understand why, if no one else 
does. But you will tell them from me, I am sure, that 
it was, as they intended, a comfort to us. Your sister 
knows too much of us for me to suppose that our great 
poverty can be secret from her. And, as far as I am 
concerned, I do not now much care who knows it." 

" There is no disgrace in not being rich," said Mr. 
Robarts. 

" No ; and the feeling of disgrace which does attach 
itself to being so poor as we are is deadened by the 
actual suffering which such poverty brings with it. At 
least it has become so with me. I am not ashamed to 
say that I am very grateful for what you all have done 
for us at Framley. But you must not say anything to 
him about that." 

Of course I will not, Mrs. Crawley." 
His spirit is higher than mine, I think, and he suf- 
fers more from the natural disinclination which we all 









278 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

have to receiviDg alms. Are you going to speak to him 
about this a&iir of the — cheque, Mr. Robarts ? " 

'' I am going to ask him to put his case into some 
lawyer's hands/' 

"Oh! I wish he would!" 

" And wiU he not ? " 

" It is very kind of you, your coming to ask him, 

but '* 

Has he so strong an objection ? " 
He will tell you that he has no money to pay a 
lawyer." 

" But, surely, if he were convinced that it was abso- 
lutely necessary for the vindication of his innocence, 
he would submit to charge himself with an expense so 
necessary, not only for himself, but for his family ? " 

" He will say it ought not to be necessary. You 
know, Mr. Robarts, that in some respects he is not like 
other men. You will not let what I say of him set you 
against him ? " 

" Indeed, no." 

'* It is most kind of you to make the attempt. He 
will be here directly, and when he comes I will leave 
you together." 

While she. was yet speaking his step was heard along 
the gravel-path, and he hurried into the room with 
quick steps. " I crave your pardon, Mr. Robarts," he 
said, "that I should keep you waiting." Now Mr. 
Robarts had not been there ten minutes, and any such 
asking of pardon was hardly necessary. And, even in 
his own house, Mr. Crawley affected a mock hiunility, 
as though, either through his own debasement, or be- 
cause of the superior station of the other clergyman, 
he were not entitled to put himself on an equal footing 



MR. ROBARtS ON HIg EMBASSY. 279 

with his visitor. He would not have shaken hands with 
Mr. Robarts, — ^intending to indicate that he did not 
presume to do so while the present accusation was 
hanging over him, — ^had not the action been forced 
upon him. And then there was something of a pro- 
test in his manner, as though remonstrating against a 
thing that was unbecoming to him. Mr. Robarts, 
without analysing it, understood it all, and knew that 
behind the humility there was a crushing pride, — -a 
pride which, in all probability, would rise up and crush 
him before he could get himself out of the room again. 
It was, perhaps, after all, a question whether the man 
was not served rightly by the extremities to which he 
was reduced. There was something radically wrong 
within him, which had put him into antagonism with 
all the world, and which produced these never-dying 
grievances. There were many clergymen in the country 
with incomes as small as that which had fallen to the 
lot of Mr. Crawley, but they managed to get on with- 
out displaying their sores as Mr. Crawley displayed 
his. They did not wear their old rusty cloaks with all 
that ostentatious bitterness of poverty which seemed to 
belong to that garment when displayed on Mr. Craw- 
ley's shoulders. Such, for a moment, were Mr. Rob- 
arts's thoughts, and he almost repented himself of his 
present mission. But then he thought of Mrs. Craw- 
ley, and remembering that her sufferings were at any 
rate undeserved, determined that he would persevere. 
Mrs. Crawley disappeared almost as soon as her hus- 
band appeared, and Mr. Robarts found himself stand- 
ing in front of his friend, who remained fixed on the 
spot, with his hands folded over each other and his 
neck slightly bent forward, in token also of humility. 



aSo THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 



u 



I regret," he said, " that yoiir horse should be left 
there, exposed to the inclemency of the weather; 
but " 

" The horse won't mind it a bit," saud Mr. Roberts. 
" A parson's horse is like a butcher's, and knows that 
he niust n't be particular about waiting in the cold." 

" I never have had one myself," said Mr. Crawley. 
Now Mr. Robarts had had more horses than one 
before now, and had been thought by some to have 
incurred greater expense than was befitting in his stable 
comforts. The subject, therefore, was a sore one, and 
he was worried a little. " I just wanted to say a few 
words to you, Crawley," he said, "and if I am not 
occupying too much of your time — — " 

" My time is altogether at your disposal. Will you 
be seated ? " 

Then Mr. Robarts sat down, and, swinging his hat 
between his legs, bethought himself how he should 
begin his work. "We had the archdeacon over at 
Framley the other day," he said, "Of course you 
know the archdeacon ? " 

" I never had the advantage of any acquaintance 
with Dr. Grantly. Of course I know him well by name 
and also personally, — that is, by sight." 

" And by character ? " 

" Nay ; I can hardly say so much as that. But I 
am aware that his name stands high with many of his 
order." 

" Exactly ; that is what I mean. You know that his 
judgment is thought more of in clerical matters than 
that of any other clergyman in the county." 

" By a certain party, Mr. Robarts." 



MR. ROBARTS ON HIS EMBASSY. zSl 

" Well, yes. They don't think much of him, I sup- 
pose, at the palace. But that won't lower him in your 
estimation." 

" I by no means wish to derogate from Dr. Grantly's 
high position in his own archdeaconry, — to which, as 
you are aware, I am not attached, — ^nor to criticise his 
conduct in any respect. It would be unbecoming in 
me to do so. But I cannot accept it as a point in a 
clergyman's favour, that he should be opposed to his 
bishop." 

Now this was too much for Mr. Robarts, After all 
that he had heard of the visit paid by Mr. Crawley to 
the palace,— of the venom displayed by Mrs. Proudie 
on that occasion, and of the absolute want of subordi- 
nation to episcopal authority which Mr. Crawley him- 
self was supposed to have shown, — Mr. Robarts did 
feel it hard that his friend the archdeacon should be 
snubbed in this way because he was deficient in rever- 
ence for his bishop! "I thought, Crawley," he said, 
"that you yourself were inclined to dispute orders 
coming to you from the palace. The world at least 
says as much concerning you." 

" What the world says of me I have learned to dis- 
regard very much, Mr. Robarts. But I hope that I 
shall never disobey the authority of the church when 
properly and legally exercised." 

" I hope with all my heart you never will ; nor I 
either. And the archdeacon, who knows, to the 
breadth of a hair, what a bishop ought to do and what 
he ought not, and what he may do and what he may 
not, will, I should say, be the last man in England to 
sin in that way." 






282 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" Very probably. I am far from contradicting you 
there. Pray understand, Mr. Robarts, that I bring no 
accusation against the archdeacon. Why should I ? " 

" I did n't mean to discuss him at all." 

" Nor did I, Mr. Robarts." 

" I only mentioned his name, because, as I said, he 
was over with us the other day at Framley, and we 
were all talking about your affair." 

" My affair! " said Mr. Crawley. And then came a 
frown upon his brow, and a gleam of fire into his eyes, 
which effectually banished that look of extreme humil- 
ity which he had assumed. " And may I ask why the 
archdeacon was discussing — ^my affair ? " 

Simply from the kindness which he bears to you." 
I am grateful for the archdeacon's kindness, as a 
man is bound to be for any kindness, whether dis- 
played wisely or unwisely. But it seems to me that 
my affair, as you call it, Mr. Robarts, is of that nature 
that they who wish well to me will better further their 
wishes by silence than by any discussion." 

"Then I cannot agree with you." Mr. Crawley 
shrugged his shoulders, opened his hands a little and 
then closed them, and bowed his head. He could not 
have declared more clearly by any words that he dif- 
fered altogether from Mr. Robarts, and that as the 
subject was one so peculiarly his own he had a right 
to expect that his opinion should be allowed to prevail 
against that of any other person. " If you come to that, 
you know, how is anybody's tongue to be stopped ? " 

" That vain tongues cannot be stopped, I am well 
aware. I do not expect that people's tongues should 
be stopped. I am not saying what men will do, but 
what good wishes should dictate." 



MR. ROBARTS ON HIS EMBASSY. 283 

" Well, perhaps you '11 hear me out for a minute." 
Mr. Crawley again bowed his head. "Whether we 
were wise or unwise, we were discussing this affair." 

" Whether I stole Mr. Soames's money ? " 

** No ; nobody supposed for a moment you had 
stolen it." 

"I cannot understand how they should suppose 
anything else, knowing, as they do, that the magis- 
trates have committed me for the theft. This took 
place at Framley, you say, and probably in Lord Luf- 
ton's presence." 

" Exactly." 

" And Lord Lufton was chairman at the sitting of 
the magistrates at which I was committed. How can 
it be that he should think otherwise ? " 

"I am sure he has not an idea that you were 
guilty. Nor yet has Dr. Thome, who was also one 
of the magistrates. I don't suppose one of them then 
thought so." 

" Then their action, to say the least of it, was very 
strange," 

" It was all because you had nobody to manage it 
for you. I thoroughly believe that if you had placed 
the matter in the hands of a good lawyer, you would 
never have heard a word more about it. That seems 
to be the opinion of every body I speak to on the 
subject." 

" Then in this country a man is to be punished or 
not, according to his abihty to fee a lawyer! " 

'* I am not talking about punishment." 

"And presuming an innocent man to have the 
ability and not the will to do so, he is to be punished, 
to be ruined root and branch, self and family, charac- 



384 THS LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

ter and pocket, simply because, knowing his own inno- 
cence, he does not choose to depend on the merce- 
nary skill of a man whose trade he abhors for the estab- 
lishment of that which should be clear as the sun at 
noon-day! You say I am innocent, and yet you tell 
me I am to be condemned as a guilty man, have my 
gown taken from me, be torn from my wife and chfl- 
dren, be disgraced before the eyes of all men, and be 
made a byword and a thing horrible to be mentioned, 
because I will not fee an attorney to fee another man 
to come and lie on my behalf, to browbeat witnesses, 
to make false appeals, and perhaps shed false tears in 
defending me. You have come to me asking me to 
do this, if I understand you, telling me that the arch* 
deacon would so advise me ? " 

"That is my object." Mr. Crawley, as he had 
spoken, had in his vehemence risen from his seat, and 
Mr. Robarts was also standing. 

" Then tell the archdeacon," said Mr. Crawley, " that 
I will have none of his advice. I will have no one 
there paid by me to obstruct the course of justice or to 
hoodwink a jury. I have been in courts of law, and 
know what is the work for which these gentlemen are 
hired. I will have none of it, and I will thank you to 
tell the archdeacon so, with my respectful acknowledg- 
ments of his consideration and condescension* I say 
nothing as to my own innocence, or my own guilt. But 
I do say that if I am dragged before that tribunal, an 
innocent man, and am falsely declared to be guilty, 
because I lack money to bribe a lawyer to speak for 
me, then the laws of this country deserve but little 
of that reverence which we are accustomed to pay to 
them. And if I be guilty " 



it 



MR. ROBARTS ON HIS EMBASSY. 285 

*^ Nobody supposes you to be guilty." 

" And if I be guilty," continued Mr. Crawley, alto- 
gether ignoring the interruption, except by the repeti- 
tion of his words, and a slight raising of his voice, " I 
will not add to my guilt by hiring any one to prove a 
falsehood or to disprove a truth." 

I *m sorry that you should say so, Mr. Crawley." 
I speak according to what light I have, Mr. Rob- 
arts ; and if I have been over- warm with you, — ^and I 
am conscious that I have been in fault in that direc- 
tion, — I must pray you to remember that I am some- 
what hardly tried. My sorrows and troubles are so 
great that they rise against me and disturb me, and 
drive me on, — ^whither I would not be driven." 

" But, my friend, is not that just the reason why you 
should trust in this matter to some one who can be 
more calm than yourself ? " 

"I cannot trust to any one, — ^in a matter of con- 
science. To do as you would have me is to me wrong. 
Shall I do wrong because I am unhappy ? " 

" You should cease to think it wrong when so ad- 
vised by persons you can trust." 

" I can trust no one with my own conscience ;— not 
even the archdeacon, great as he is." 

The archdeacon has meant only well to you." 
I will presume so. I will believe so. I do think 
so. Tell the archdeacon from me that I humbly thank 
him ; — ^that, in a matter of church question, I might 
probably submit my judgment to his, even though he 
might have no authority over me, knowing as I do that 
in such matters his experience has been great. Tell 
him also, that though I would fain that this unfortu- 
nate affair might burden the tongue of none among 






286 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

my neighbours, — at least till I shall have stood before 
the judge to receive the verdict of the jury, and, if 
needful, his lordship's sentence, — ^still I am convinced 
that in what he has spoken, as also in what he has 
done, he has not yielded to the idleness of gossip, but 
has exercised his judgment with intended kindness." 

" He has certainly intended to do you a service ; 
and as for its not being talked about, that is out of the 
question." 

" And for yourself, Mr. Robarts, whom I have ever 
regarded as a friend since circumstances brought me 
into yoiu: neighbourhood, — ^for you, whose sister I love 
tenderly in memory of past kindness, though now she 
is removed so far above my sphere as to make it unfit 
that I should call her my friend " 

"She does not think so at all." 

" For yourself, as I was saying, pray believe me that 
though from the roughness of my manner, being now 
unused to social intercourse, I seem to be ungracious 
and forbidding, I am grateful and mindful, and that in 
the tablets of my heart I have written you down as 
one in whom I could trust, — ^were it given to me to 
trust in men and women." Then he turned round 
with his face to the wall and his back to his visitor, 
and so remained till Mr. Robarts had left him. " At 
any rate I wish you well through your trouble," said 
Robarts; and as he spoke he found that his own 
words were nearly choked by a sob that was rising in 
his throat. 

He went away without another word and got out to 
his gig without seeing Mrs. Crawley. During one pe- 
riod of the interview he had been very angry with the 
man,- — so angry as to make him ahnost declare to him- 



MR. ROBARTS ON HIS EMBASSY. 287 

self that he would take no more trouble on his behalf. 
Then he had been brought to acknowledge that Mr. 
Walker was right, and that Crawley was certainly mad. 
He was so mad, so far removed from the dominion of 
sound sense, that no jury could say that he was guilty 
and that he ought to be punished for his guilt. And, 
as he so resolved, he could not but ask himself the 
question, whether the charge of the parish ought to be 
left in the hands of such a man ? But at last, just be- 
fore he went, these feelings and these convictions gave 
way to pity, and he remembered simply the troubles 
which seemed to have been heaped on the head of this 
poor victim to misfortune. As he drove home he 
resolved that there was nothing left for him to do but 
to write to the dean. It was known to all who knew 
them both, that the dean and Mr. Crawley had lived 
together on the closest intimacy at college, and that that 
friendship had been maintained through life ; — ^though, 
from the peculiarity of Mr. Crawley's character, the 
two had not been much together of late years. Seeing 
how things were going now, and hearing how pitiful 
was the plight in which Mr. Crawley was placed, the 
dean would, no doubt, feel it to be his duty to hasten 
his return to England. He was believed to be at this 
moment in Jerusalem, and it would be long before a 
letter could reach him ; but there still wanted three 
months to the assizes, and his return might be probably 
effected before the end of February. 

" I never was so distressed in my life," Mark Rob- 
arts said to his wife. 

And you think you have done no good ? " 
Only this, that I have convinced myself that the 
poor man is not responsible for what he does, and 



it 



aSS THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSBT. 

that for her sake, aa well as for his own, some person 
nhould be enabled to interfere for his protection." 
Tiien he told Mrs. Robarts what Mr. Walker had said ; 
aUo the message which Mr. Crawley had sent to the 
archdeacon. But they both agreed that that message 
need not be sent on any further. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

MAJOR GRANTLY AT HOME. 

Mrs. Thorne had spoken very plainly in the advice 
which she had given to Major Grantly. " If I were 
you, I 'd be at AUington before twelve o'clock to-mor- 
row." That had been Mrs. Thome's advice; and 
though Major Grantly had no idea of making the 
journey so rapidly as the lady had proposed, still he 
thought that he would make it before long, and follow 
the advice in spirit if not to the letter. Mrs. Thorne 
had asked him if it was fair that the girl should be 
punished because of the father's fault ; and the idea 
had been sweet to him that the infliction or non-inflic- 
tion of such punishment should be in his hands. " You 
go and ask her," Mrs. Thome had said. Well ; — ^he 
would go and ask her. If it should turn out at last 
that he had married the daughter of a thief, and that 
he was disinherited for doing so, — an arrangement of 
circumstances which he had to teach himself to regard 
as very probable, — ^he would not love Grace the less 
on that account, or allow himself for one moment to 
repent what he had done. As he thought of all this 
he became somewhat in love with a small income, and 
imagined to himself what honours would be done to 
him by the Mrs. Thomes of the county when they 

should come to know in what way he had sacrificed 
VOL. I. — 19 289 



290 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

himself to his love. Yes ; — they woidd go and live at 
Pau. He thought Pau would do. He would have 
enough of income for that; — and Edith would get 
lessons cheaply, and would learn to talk French fluently. 
He certainly would do it. He would go down to 
AUington, and ask Grace to be his wife ; and bid her 
understand that if she loved him she could not be justi- 
fied in refusing him by the circimistances of her father's 
position. 

But he must go to Plumstead before he could go to 
Allington. He was engaged to spend his Christmas 
there, and must go now at once. There was not time 
for the journey to Allington before he was due at 
Plumstead. And, moreover, though he could not bring 
himself to resolve that he would tell his father what he 
was going to do, — " It would seem as though I were 
asking his leave! " he said to himself, — he thought that 
he would make a clean breast of it to his mother. It 
made him sad to think that he should cut the rope 
which fastened his own boat among the other boats in 
the home harbour at Plumstead, and that he should go 
out all alone into strange waters, — turned adrift alto- 
gether, as it were, from the Grantly fleet. If he could 
only get the promise of his mother's sympathy for 
Grace it would be something. He understood, — ^no 
one better than he, — the tendency of all his family to 
an uprising in the world, which tendency was almost 
as strong in his mother as in his father. And he had 
been by no means without a similar ambition himself, 
though with him the ambition had been only fitful, not 
enduring. He had a brother, a clergyman, a busy, 
stirring, eloquent London preacher, who got churches 
built, and was heard of far and wide as a rising man, 



MAJOR GRANTLY AT HOME. 29 1 

who had married a certain Lady Anne, the daughter 
of an early and who was ah^ady mentioned as a candi- 
date for high places. How his sister was the wife of 
a marquis, and a leader in the fashionable world, the 
reader already knows. The archdeacon himself was 
a rich man, so powerful that he could afford to look 
down upon a bishop ; and Mrs. Grantly, though there 
was left about her something of an old softness of 
nature, a touch of the former life which had been hers 
before the stream of her days had run gold, yet she, 
too, had taken kindly to wealth and high standing, and 
was by no means one of those who construe literally 
that passage of Scripture which tells us of the camel 
and the needle's eye. Oiur Henry Grantly, our major, 
knew himself to be his mother's favourite child, — ^knew 
himself to have become so since something of coolness 
had grown up between her and her august daughter. 
The augustness of the daughter had done much to 
reproduce the old freshness of which I have spoken in 
the mother's heart, and had specially endeared to her 
the son who, of all her children, was the least subject 
to the family failing. The clergyman, Charles Grantiy, 
— ^he who had married the Lady Anne, — ^was his father's 
darling in these days. The old archdeacon would go 
up to London and be quite happy in his son's house. 
He met there the men whom he loved to meet, and 
heard the talk which he loved to hear. It was very 
fine having the Marquis of Hsirtletop for a son-in-law, 
but he had never cared to be much at Lady Hartle- 
top's house. Indeed, the archdeacon cared to be in no 
house in which those around him were supposed to be 
bigger than himself. Such was the family fleet from 
out of which Henry Grantly was now proposing to sail 



293 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

alone with his little boat, — ^taking Grace Crawley with 
him at the helm. '' My father is a just man at the 
bottom," he said to himself, " and though he may not 
forgive me, he will not punish Edith." 

But there was still left one of the family, — ^not a 
Grantly, indeed, but one so nearly allied to them as to 
have his boat moored in the same harbour, — ^who, as 
the major well knew, would thoroughly sympathise 
with him. This was old Mr. Harding, his mother's 
father, — the father of his mother and of his aunt Mrs. 
Arabin, — whose home was now at the deanery. He 
was also to be at Plumstead during this Christmas, and 
he at any rate would give a ready assent to such a 
marriages as that which the major was proposing for 
himself. But then poor old Mr. Harding had been 
thoroughly deficient in that ambition which had served 
to aggrandise the family into which his daughter had 
married. He was a poor old man, who, in spite of 
good friends, — for the late bishop of the diocese had 
been his dearest friend, — ^had never risen high in his 
profession, and had fallen even from the moderate alti- 
tude which he had attained. But he was a man whom 
all loved who knew him; and it was much to the 
credit of his son-in-law, the archdeacon, that, with all 
his tendencies to love rising suns, he had ever been true 
to Mr. Harding. 

Major Grantly took his daughter with him, and on 
his arrival at Plumstead she of course was the first ob- 
ject of attention. Mrs. Grantly declared that she had 
grown immensely. The archdeacon complimented her 
red cheeks, and said that Cosby Lodge was as healthy 
a place as any in the county, while Mr. Harding, 
Edith's great-grandfather, drew slowly from his pocket 



MAJOR GRANTLV AT HOME. 293 

sundry treasures with which he had come prepared for 
the delight of the little girl. Charles Grantly and Lady 
Anne had no children, and the heir of all the Hartle- 
tops was too august to have been trusted to the em- 
braces of his mother's grandfather. Edith, therefore, 
was all that he had in that generation, and of Edith 
he was prepared to be as indulgent as he had been, in 
their time, of his grandchildren the Grantlys, and still 
was of his grandchildren the Arabins, and had b^n 
before that of his own daughters. " She 's more like 
Eleanor than any one else," said the old man in a 
plaintive tone. Now Eleanor was Mrs. Arabin, the 
dean's wife, and was at this time, — if I were to say 
over forty I do not think I should be uncharitable. 
No one else saw the special likeness, but no one else 
remembered, as Mr. Harding did, what Eleanor had 
been when she was three years old. 

Aunt Nelly is in France," said the child. 
Yes, my darling, aunt Nelly is in France, and I 
wish she were at home. Aunt Nelly has been away a 
long time." 

" I suppose she '11 stay till the dean picks her up on 
his way home ? " said Mrs. Grantly. 

" So she says in her letters. I heard from her yes- 
terday, and I brought the letter, as I thought you 'd 
like to see it." Mrs. Grantly took the letter and read 
it, while her father still played with the child. The 
archdeacon and the major were standing together on 
the rug discussing thett3hooting at Chaldicotes, as to 
which the archdeacon had a strong opinion. " I 'm 
quite siure that a man with a place like that does more 
good by preserving than by leaving it alone. The 
better head of game he has the richer the county will 



it 



394 I'HE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

be generally. It is just the same with pheasants as it 
is with sheep and bullocks. A pheasant does n't cost 
more than he 's worth any more than a barn-door fowl. 
Besides, a man who preserves is always respected by 
the poachers, and the man who does n't is not." 

" There *s something in that, sir, certainly," said the 
major. 

" More tfean you think for, perhaps. Look at poor 
Sowerby, who went on there for years without a shil- 
ling. How he was respected, because he lived as 
the people around him expected a gentleman to live. 
Thome will have a bad time of it if he tries to change 
things.** 

" Only think,*' exclaimed Mrs. Grantly, " when El- 
eanor wrote she had not heard of that affair of poor 
Mr. Crawley's ! ** 

"Does she say anything about him?" asked the 
major. 

" I *11 read what she says. ' I see in Galignani that 
a clergyman in Barsetshire has been committed for 
theft. Pray tell me who it is. Not the bishop, I 
hope, for the credit of the diocese ? * " 
I wish it were," said the archdeacon. 
For shame, my dear," said his wife. 
No shame at all. If we are to have a thief among 
us, I *d sooner find him in a bad man than a good 
one. Besides, we should have a change at the palace, 
which would be a great thing." 

'* But is it not odd that Eleanor should have heard 
nothing of it ? " said Mrs. Grantly. 

" It 's odd that you should not have mentioned it 
yourself." 

** I did not, certainly; nor you, papa, I siq^MJse?" 



cc 
<c 



MAJOR GRANTLY AT HOME. ^95 

Mr. Harding acknowledged that he had not spoken 
of it, and then they calculated that perhaps she might 
not have received any letter from her husband written 
since the news had reached him. " Besides, why should 
he have mentioned it ? " said the major. " He only 
knows as yet of the inquiry about the cheque, and can 
have heard nothing of what was done by the magis- 
trates." 

" Still it seems so odd that Eleanor should not have 
known of it, seeing that we have been talking of noth- 
ing else for the last week," said Mrs. Grantly. 

For two days the major said not a word of Grace 
Crawley to any one. Nothing could be more court- 
eous and complaisant than was his father's conduct to 
him. Anything that he wanted for Edith was to be 
done. For himself there was no trouble which would 
not be taken. His hunting, and his shooting, and his 
fishing seemed to have become matters of paramount 
consideration to his father. And then the archdeacon 
became very confidential about money matters, — ^not 
offering anything to his son, which, as he well knew, 
would have been seen through as palpable bribery and 
corruption, — ^but telling him of this little scheme and 
of that, of one investment and of another; — ^how he 
contemplated bu3dng a small property here, and spend- 
ing a few thousands on building there. " Of course it 
is all for you and your brother," said the archdeacon, 
with that benevolent sadness which is used habitually 
by fathers on such occasions ; '' and I like you to know 
what it is that I am doing. I told Charles about the 
London property the last time I was up," said the arch- 
deacon, " and there shall be no difference between him 
and you, if all goes well." This was very good-natured 



290 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

on the archdeacon's part, and was not strictly necessary, 
as Charles was the eldest son ; but the major under- 
stood it perfectly. " There shall be an elysium opened 
to you, if only you will not do that terrible thing of 
which you spoke when last here." The archdeacon 
uttered no such words as these, and did not even allude 
to Grace Crawley; but the words were as good as 
spoken, and had they been spoken ever so plainly the 
major could not have imderstood them more clearly. 
He was quite awake to the loveliness of the elysium 
opened before him. He had had his moment of anx- 
iety, whether his father would or would not make an 
elder son of his brother Charles. The whole thing was 
now put before him plainly. Give up Grace Crawley, 
and you shall share alike with your brother. Disgrace 
yourself by manying her, and your brother shall have 
everything. There was the choice, and it was still 
open to him to take which side he pleased. Were he 
never to go near Grace Crawley again no one would 
blame him, unless it were Miss Prettyman or Mrs. 
Thome. "Fill your glass, Henry," said the arch- 
deacon. "You 'd better, I tell you, for there is no 
more of it left." Then the major filled his glass and 
sipped the wine, and swore to himself that he would 
go down to Allington at once. What! Did his father 
think to bribe him by giving him '20 port ? He would 
certainly go down to Allington, and he would tell his 
mother to-morrow morning, or certainly on the next 
day, what he was going to do. " Pity it should be all 
gone ; is n*t it, sir ? " said the archdeacon to his father- 
in-law. " It has lasted my time," said Mr. Harding, 
" and I *m very much obliged to it. Dear, dear ; how 
well I remember your father giving the order for itJ 



MAJOR GRANTLY AT HOME. 297 

There were two pipes, and somebody said it was a 
heady wine. 'If the prebendaries and rectors can't 
drink it/ said your father, ' the curates will' " 

" Curates indeed! " said the archdeacon. " It 's too 
good for a bishop, unless one of the right sort." 

" Your father used to say those things, but with Jiim 
the poorer the guest the better the cheer. When he 
had a few clergymen round him, how he loved to make 
them happy!" 

" Never talked shop to them, did he ? " said the arch- 
deacon. 

" Not after dinner, at any rate. Goodness gracious, 
when one thinks of it! Do you remember how we 
used to play cards ? " 

"Every night regularly; — ^threepenny points, and 
sixpence on the rubber," said the archdeacon. 

" Dear, dear! How things are changed! And I re- 
member when the clergymen did more of the dancing 
in Barchester than all the other young men in the city 
put together." 

" And a good set they were ; — gentlemen every one 
of them. It 's well that some of them don't dance 
now ; — that is, for the girls' sake." 

I sometimes sit and wonder," said Mr. Harding, 
whether your father's spirit ever comes back to the 
old house and sees the changes, — ^and if so whether he 
approves them." 

Approves them!" said the archdeacon. 
Well ; — ^yes. I think he would, upon the whole. 
I 'm sure of this ; he would not disapprove, because 
the new ways are changed from his ways. He never 
thought himself infallible. And do you know, my dear, 
I am not sure that it is n't all for the best. I some* 



it 



it 



29S THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

times think that some of us were very idle when we 
were young. I was, I know." 

" I worked hard enough," said the archdeacon, 

" Ah, yes ; you. But most of us took it very easily. 
Dear, dear! When I think of it, and see how hard 
they work now, and remember what pleasant times we 
used to have, — I don't feel sometimes quite sure." 

''I believe the work was done a great deal better 
than it is now," said the archdeacon. " There was n't 
so much fuss, but there was more reahty. And men 
were men, and clergymen were gentlemen." 

*' Yes ; — ^they were gentlemen." 

" Such a creatiu-e as that old woman at the palace 
could n't have held his head up among us. That 's 
what has come from Reform. A reformed House 
of Commons makes Lord Brock prime-minister, and 
then your prime-minister makes Dr. Proudie a bishop! 
Well ; — ^it will last my time, I suppose." 

" It has lasted mine,— like the wine," said Mr. Hard- 
ing. 

" There 's one glass more, and you shall have it, sir." 
Then Mr. Harding drank the last glass of the 1820 
port, and they went into the drawing-room. 

On the next morning after breakfast the major went 
out for a walk by himself. His father had suggested 
to him that he should go over to shoot at Framley, 
and had offered him the use of everything the arch- 
deaconry possessed in the way of horses, dogs, guns, 
and carriages. But the major would have none of 
these things. He would go out and walk by himself. 
" He 's not thinking of her ; is he ? " said the arch- 
deacon to his wife, in a whisper. " I don't know. I 
think he is," said Mrs. Grantly. " It will be so much 



MAJOR GRANTLV AT HOME. ^99 

the better for Charles, if he does," said the archdeacon 
grimly ; and the look of his face as he spoke was by 
no means pleasant. "You will do nothing unjust, 
archdeacon," said his wife. " I will do as I like with 
my own," said he. And then he also went out and 
took a walk by himself. 

That evening after dinner, there was no 1820 port, 
and no recollection of old days. They were rather 
dull, the three of them, as they sat together, — and 
dulness is alwajrs more unendurable than sadness. Old 
Mr. Harding went to sleep and the archdeacon was 
cross. " Henry," he said, " you have n't a word to 
throw to a dog." 

" I Ve got rather a headache this evening, sir," said 
the major. The archdeacon drank two glasses of wine, 
one after another, quickly. Then he woke his father- 
in-law gently, and went off. ** Is there anything the 
matter?" asked the old man. "Nothing particular. 
My father seems to be a little cross." "Ah! I Ve 
been to sleep and I ought n*t. It 's my fault. We *11 
go in and smooth him down." But the archdeacon 
would n't be smoothed down on that occasion. He 
would let his son see the. difference between a father 
pleased and a father displeased,— or rather between a 
father pleasant and a father unpleasant. " He has n't 
said anything to you, has he ? " said the archdeacon 
that night to his wife. " Not a word ; — as yet." " If 
he does it without the courage to tell us, I shall think 
him a cur," said the archdeacon. " But he did tell 
you," said Mrs. Grantly, standing up for her favourite 
son ; " and, for the matter of that, he has courag? 
enough for anything. If he does it, I shall always say 
tiiat he has been driven to it by your threats," 



300 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BASSET. 

''Thai *% sheer nonsense/' said the archdeacon. 

" It 's not nonsense at all/' said Mrs. Grantly. 

'' llien I suppose I was to hold my tongue and say 
nothing ? '' said the archdeacon ; and as he spoke he 
banged the door between his dressing-room and Mrs. 
Grantly's bedroom. 

On the first day of the new year Major Grantly 
spoke his mind to his mother. The archdeacon had 
gone into Barchester, having in vain attempted to in- 
duce his son to go with him. Mr. Harding wa3 in the 
library reading a little and sleeping a little, and dream- 
ing of old days and old friends, and perhaps, some- 
times, of the old wine. Mrs. Grantly was alone in a 
small sitting-room which she frequented upstairs, when 
suddenly her son entered the room. " Mother," he 
said, '' I think it better to tell you that I am going to 
AUington." 

" To AUington, Henry ? " She knew very well who 
was at AUington, and what must be the business which 
would take him there. 

** Yes, mother. Miss Crawley is there, and there are 
circumstances which make it incumbent on me to see 
her without delay.** 

" What circumstances, Henry ? ** 

** As I intend to ask her to be my wife I think it 
best to do so now. I owe it to her and to myself that 
she should not think that I am deterred by her father's 
position,** 

'* But would it not be reasonable that yon should be 
deterred by her father's position ? " 

'' No, I think not I think it would be dishonest as 
well as ungenerous, I cannot bring myself to brook 
such delay. Of course I am alive to the nusfofftnne 



MAJOR GRANTLY AT HOME. 30I 

which has fallen upon her, — ^upon her and me, too, 
should she ever become my wife. But it is one of 
those burdens which a man should have shoulders 
broad enough to bear." 

" Quite so, if she were your wife, or even if you were 
engaged to her. Then honour would require it of you, 
as well as affection. As it is, your honour does not 
require it, and I think you should hesitate, for all our 
sakes, and especially for Edith's." 

" It will do Edith no harm ; and, mother, if you alone 
were concerned, I think you would feel that it would 
not hurt you." 

" I was not thinking of myself, Henry." 

" As for my father, the very threats which he has 
used make me conscious that I have only to measure the 
price. He has told me that he will stop my allowance." 

" But that may not be the worst. Think how you 
are situated. You are the younger son of a man who 
will be held to be justified in making an elder son, if 
he thinks fit to do so." 

" I can only hope that he will be fair to Edith. If 
you will tell him that from me, it is all that I will ask 
you to do." 

" But you will see him yourself ? " 

" No, mother ; not till I have been to Allington. 
Then I will see him again or not, just as he pleases. 
I shall stop at Guestwick, and will write to you a line 
from thence. If my father decides on doing anything, 
let me know at once, as it will be necessary that I 
should get rid of the lease of my house." 

"Oh, Henry!" 

" I have thought a great deal about it, mother, and 
I believe I am right. Whether I am right or wrong, 



303 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

I shall do it. I will not ask you now for any promise 
or pledge ; but should Miss Crawley become my wife, 
I hope that you at least will not refuse to see her as 
your daughter." Having so spoken, he kissed his 
mother, and was about to leave the room ; but she 
held him by his arm, and he saw that her eyes were 
full of tears. " Dearest mother, if I grieve you I am 
sorry indeed." 

** Not me, not me, not me," she said. 

** For my father, I cannot help it. Had he not 
threatened me I should have told him also. As he 
has done so, you must teU him. But give him my 
kindest love." 

" Oh, Henry ; you will be ruined. You will, indeed. 
Can you not wait ? Remonber how headstrong your 
father is, and yet how good ;-^-and how he loves you! 
Think of all that he has done for you. When did he 
refuse you anything P " 

'* He has been good to me, but in this I cannot obey 
him. He should not ask me." 

** You are wrong. You are indeed. He has a right 
to expect that you will not bring disgrace iq^on the 
family." 

'* Nor will I ; — except such disgrace as may attend 
upon poverty. Good-bye, mother. I wish yoa could 
have said one kind word to me." 

** Have I not said a kind word?** 

•* Not as yet, mothtt." 

** I would not for worids speak miknidly to yoo. If 
it were not for tout f atb^ I would bid yoa bfing whom 
you pleased home to me as your wife ; and I would 
be as a nsodicr to her. And if this girl shoald become 
your wife ** 



MAJOR GRANTLY AT HOME. 303 



if 
u 



It shall not be my fault if she does not." 
I will try to love her — some day." 

Then the major went, leaving Edith at the rectory, 
as requested by his mother. His own dog-cart and 
his servant were at Plumstead, and he drove himself 
home to Cosby Lodge. 

When the archdeacon returned the news was told 
him at once. " Henry has gone to Allington to pro- 
pose to Miss Crawley," said Mrs. Grantly. 

" Gone, — without speaking to mel " 

" He left his love, and said that it was useless his 
remaining, as he knew he rfiould only offend you." 

" He has made his bed, and he must lie upon it," 
said the archdeacon. And then there was not another 
word said about Grace Crawley on that occasion. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

MISS LILY dale's RESOLUTION. 

The ladies at the Small House at AUington break- 
fasted always at nine, — a liberal nine ; and the post- 
man whose duty it was to deliver letters in that village 
at half -past eight, being also liberal in his ideas as to 
time, always arrived punctually in the middle of break- 
fast, so that Mrs. Dale expected her letters, and Lily 
hers, just before their second cup of tea, as though the 
letters formed a part of the morning meal. Jane, the 
maid-servant, always brought them in, and handed them 
to Mrs. Dale, — ^for Lily had in these days come to 
preside at the breakfast-table ; and then there would 
be an examination of the outsides before the envelopes 
were violated, and as each knew pretty well all the 
circumstances of the correspondence of the other, there 
would be some guessing as to what this or that epistle 
might contain ; and after that a reading out loud of 
passages, and not infrequently of the entire letter. But 
now, at the time of which I am speaking, Grace 
Crawley was at the Small House, and therefore the 
common practice was somewhat in abeyance. 

On one of the first days of the new year Jane brought 
in the letters as usual, and handed them to Mrs. Dale. 
Lily was at the time occupied with the teapot, but still 
she saw the letters, and had not her hands so full as to 

304 






MISS LILY dale's RESOLUTION. 305 

be debarred from the expression of her usual anxiety, 
" Mamma, I 'm sure I see two there for me," she said* 
" Only one for you, Lily," said Mrs. Dale. Lily in- 
stantly knew from the tone of the voice that some let- 
ter had come, which by the very aspect of the hand- 
writing had disturbed her mother. " There is one for 
you, my dear," said Mrs, Dale, throwing a letter across 
the table to Grace. " And one for you, Lily, from 
Bell. The others are for me." 

And whom are yours from, mamma ? " asked Lily. 

One is from Mrs. Jones ; the other, I think, is a let- 
ter on business." Then Lily said nothing further, but 
she observed that her mother only opened one of her 
letters at the breakfast-table. Lily was very patient ; 
— ^not by nature, I think, but by exercise and practice. 
She had once, in her life, been too much in a hurry ; 
and having then burned herself grievously, she now 
feared the fire. She did not therefore follow her 
mother after breakfast, but sat with Grace over the fire, 
hemming diligently at certain articles of clothing which 
were intended for use in the Hogglestock parsonage. 
The two girls were making a set of new shirts for Mr. 
Crawley. " But I know he will ask where they come 
from," said Grace ; " and then mamma will be scolded." 
" But I hope he 11 wear them," said Lily. " Sooner or 
later he will," said Grace ; " because mamma manages 
generally to have her way at last." Then they went 
on for an hour or so, talking about the home affairs at 
Hogglestock. But during the whole time Lily's mind 
was intent upon her mother's letter. 

Nothing was said about it at lunch, and nothing 

when they walked out after lunch, for Lily was very 

patient. But during the walk Mrs. Dale became aware 
▼OL. I.— 20 



306 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

that her daughter was uneasy. These two watched 
each other unconsciously with a closeness which hardly 
allowed a glance of the eye, certainly not a tone of the 
voice, to pass unobserved. To Mrs. Dale it was every- 
thing in the world that her daughter should be, if not 
happy at heart, at least tranquil ; and to Lily, who 
knew that her mother was always thinking of her, and 
of her alone, her mother was the only human divinity 
now worthy of adoration. But nothing was said about 
the letter during the walk. 

When they came home it was nearly dusk, and it 
was their habit to sit up for a while without candles, 
talking, till the evening had in truth set in and the un- 
mistakable and enforced idleness of remaining without 
candles was apparent. During this time, Lily, demand- 
ing patience of herself all the while, was thinking what 
she would do, or rather what she would say, about the 
letter. That nothing could be done or said in the 
presence of Grace Crawley was a matter of course, nor 
would she do or say anything to get rid of Grace. She 
would be very patient ; but she would, at last, ask her 
mother about the letter. 

And then, as luck would have it, Grace Crawley got 
up and left the room. Lily still waited for a few min- 
utes, and, in order that her patience might be thor- 
oughly exercised, she said a word or two about her 
sister Bell; how the eldest child's whooping-cough 
was nearly well, and how the baby was doing wonder- 
ful things with its first tooth. But as Mrs. Dale had 
already seen BelFs letter, all this was not intensely 
interesting. At last Lily came to the point and asked 
her question. " Mamma, from whom was that other 
letter which you got this morning ? " 



•• 



MISS LILY dale's RESOLUTION. 307 

Our Story will perhaps be best told by communicat- 
ing the letter to the reader before it was discussed with 
Lily. The letter was as follows : — 

** General Committee Office, January, 1S6 — ." 
I should have said that Mrs. Dale had not opened 
the letter till she had found herself in the sohtude of 
her own bedroom ; and that then, before doing so, she 
had examined the handwriting with anxious eyes. When 
she first received it she thought she knew the writer, 
but was not sure. Then she had glanced at the im- 
pression over the fastening, and had known at once 
from whom the letter had come. It was from Mr. 
Crosbie, the man who had brought so much trouble 
into her house, who had jilted her daughter ; the only 
man in the world whom she had a right to regard as a 
positive enemy to herself. She had no doubt about 
it, as she tore the envelope open ; and yet, when the 
address given made her quite sure, a new feeling of 
shivering came upon her, and she asked herself whether 
it might not be better that she should send his letter 
back to him without reading it. But she read it. 

" Madam " (the letter began), — " You will be very 
much surprised to hear from me, and I am quite aware 
that I am not entitled to the ordinary courtesy of an 
acknowledgment from you, should you be pleased to 
throw my letter on one side as unworthy of your no- 
tice. But I cannot refrain from addressing you, and 
must leave it to you to reply to me or not, as you may 
think fit. 

" I will only refer to that episode of my life with 
which you are acquainted, for the sake of acknowledg- 



3o8 TH£ LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSST. 

ing my great fault and of assuring you that I did not 
go unpunished. It would be useless for me now to 
attempt to explain to you the circumstances which 
led me into that difficulty which ended in so great a 
blunder ; but I will ask you to beheve that my folly 
was greater than my sin. 

" But I will come to my point at once. You are, 
no doubt, aware that I married a daughter of Lord 
De Courcy, and that I was separated from my wife a 
few weeks after oiur tmfortunate marriage. It is now 
something over twelve months since she died at Baden- 
Baden in her mother's house. I never saw her since 
the day we first parted. I have not a word to say 
against her. The fault was mine in marrying a woman 
whom I did not love and had never loved. When I 
married Lady Alexandrina I loved, not her, but your 
daughter. 

*' I believe I may venture to say to you that your 
daughter once loved me. From the day on which I 
last wrote to you that terrible letter which told you of 
my fate I have never mentioned the name of Lily Dale 
to human ears. It has been too sacred for my mouth, 
— too sacred for the intercourse of any friendship with 
which I have been blessed. I now use it for the first 
time to you, in order that I may ask whether it be 
possible that her old love should ever live again. Mine 
has lived always, — ^has never faded for an hour, mak- 
ing me miserable during the years that have passed 
since I saw her, but capable of making me very happy, 
if I may be allowed to see her again. 

" You will understand my purpose now as well as 
though I were to write pages. I have no scheme 
formed in my head for seeing your daughter again. 



MISS LILY dale's RESOLUTION. 309 

How can I dare to form a scheme, when I am aware 
that the chance of success must be so strong against 
me ? But if you will tell me that there can be a gleam 
of hope, I will obey any commands that you can put 
upon me in any way that you may point out. I am 
free again, — and she is free. I love her with all my 
heart, and seem to long for nothing in the world but 
that she ^ould become my wife. Whether any of 
her old Inve may still abide with her, you will know. 
If it do, it may even yet prompt her to forgive one 
who, in spite of falseness of conduct, has yet been true 
to her in heart. 

*^ I have the honour to be. Madam, 

*' Your most obedient servant, 

" Adolphus Crosbie.'' 

This was the letter which Mrs. Dale had received, 
and as to which she had not as yet said a word to Lily, 
or even made up her mind whether she would say a 
word or not. Dearly as the mother and daughter loved 
each other, thorough as was the confidence between 
them, yet the name of Adolphus Crosbie had not been 
mentioned between them oftener, perhaps, than half-a- 
dozen times since the blow had been struck. Mrs. 
Dale knew that their feelings about the man were al- 
together different. She, herself, not only condemned 
him for what he had done, believing it to be impossible 
that any shadow of excuse could be urged for his 
offence, thinking that the fault had shown the man to 
be mean beyond redemption ; — ^but she had allowed 
herself actually to hate him. He had in one sense 
murdered her daughter, and she believed that she could 
never forgive him. But Lily, as her mother well knew, 



31 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

had forgiven this man altogether, had made excuses 
for him which cleansed his sin of all its blackness in 
her own eyes, and was to this day anxious as ever for 
his welfare and his happiness. Mrs. Dale feared that 
Lily did in truth love him still. If it was so, was she 
not bound to show her this letter ? Lily was old 
enough to judge for herself, — old enough, and wise 
enough too. Mrs. Dale told herself half-a-score of 
times that morning that she could not be justified in 
keeping the letter from her daughter. 

But yet she much wished that the letter had neyer 
been written, and would have given very much to be 
able to put it out of the way without injustice to Lily. 
To her thinking it would be impossible that Lily should 
be happy in marrying such a man. Such a marriage 
now would be, as Mrs. Dale thought, a degradation to 
her daughter. A terrible injury had been done ' to 
her ; but such reparation as this would, in Mrs. Dale's 
eyes, only make the injury deeper. And yet Lily loved 
the man ; and, loving him, how could she resist the 
temptation of his offer ? " Mamma, from whom was 
that letter which you got this morning ? " Lily asked. 
For a few moments Mrs. Dale remained silent. 
" Mamma," continued Lily, *' I think I know whom it 
was from. If you tell me to ask nothing fxu*ther, of 
course I will not." 

" No, Lily ; I cannot tell you that." 

** Then, mamma, out with it at once. What is the 
use of shivering on the brink ? " 

" It was from Mr. Crosbie." 

" I knew it. I cannot tell you why, but I knew it 
And now, mamma, — am I to read it ? " 

" You shall do as you please, Lily." 



<< 
ti 



n 



MISS LILY dale's RESOLUTION. 31I 

" Then I please to read it." 

" Listen to me a moment first. For myself, I wish 
that the letter had never been written. It tells badly 
for the man as I think of it. I cannot understand 
how any man could have brought himself to address 
either you or me, after having acted as he acted." 
But, mamma, we differ about all that, you know." 
Now he has written, and there is the letter, — ^if 
you choose to read it." 

Lily had it in her hand, but she still sat motionless, 
holding it. "You think, mamma, I ought not to 
read it ? " 

You must judge for yourself, dearest." 
And if I do not read it, what shall you do, 
mamma ? " 

" I shall do nothing ;— or, perhaps, I should in such 
a case acknowledge it, and tell him that we have noth-? 
ing more to say to him." 

" That would be very stem." 

" He has done that which makes sternness necessary." 

Then Lily was again silent, and still she sat motion- 
less, with the letter in her hand. " Mamma," she said, 
at last, " if you tell me not to read it I will give it you 
back unread. If you bid me exercise my own judg- 
ment, I shall take it upstairs and read it." 

" You must exercise your own judgment," said Mrs. 
Dale. Then Lily got up from her chair and walked 
slowly out of the room, and went to her mother's 
chamber. The thoughts which passed through Mrs. 
Dale's mind while her daughter was reading the letter 
were very sad. She could find no comfort anywhere. 
Lily, she told herself, would surely give way to this 
man's renewed expressions of affection, and she, Mrs* 



312 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Dale herself, would be called upon to give her child 
to a man whom she could neither love nor respect ; — 
whom, for aught she knew, she could never cease to 
hate. And she could not bring herself to believe that 
Lily would be happy with such a man. As for her 
own life, desolate as it would be, — she cared little for 
that. Mothers know that their daughters will leave 
them. Even widowed mothers, mothers with but one 
child left, — such a one as was this mother, — are aware 
that they will be left alone, and they can bring them- 
selves to welcome the sacrifice of themselves with 
something of satisfaction. Mrs. Dale and Lily had, 
indeed, of late become bound together especially, so 
diat the mother had been justified in regarding the link 
which joined them as being firmer than that by which 
most daughters are bound to their mothers; — but in 
all that she would have found no regret. Even now, 
in these very days, she was hoping that Lily might yet 
be brought to give herself to John Eames. But she 
could not, after all that was come and gone, be happy 
in thinking that Lily should be given to Adolphus 
Crosbie. 

When Mrs. Dale went upstairs to her own room 
before dinner Lily was not there ; nor were they alone 
together again that evening except for a moment, when 
Lily, as was usual, went into her mother's room when 
she was undressing. But neither of them then said a 
word about the letter. Lily during dinner and through- 
out the evening had borne herself well, giving no sign 
of special emotion, keeping to herself entirely her ovm 
thoughts about the proposition made to her. And 
afterwards she had progressed diligently with the fabri- 
cation of Mr. Crawley's shirts, as though she had no 



MISS LILY dale's RESOLUTION. 313 

such letter in her pocket. And yet there was not a 
moment in which she was not thinking of it. To 
Grace, just before she went to bed, she did say one 
word. " I wonder whether it can ever come to a per- 
son to be so placed that there can be no doing right, 
let what will be done ; — that, do or not do, as you may, 
it must be wrong ? " 

" I hope you are not in such a condition," said 
Grace. 

" I am something near it," said Lily ; " but perhaps 
if I look long enough I shall see the light." 

" I hope it will be a happy light at last," said Grace, 
who thought that Lily was referring only to John 
£ames. ' 

At noon on the next day Lily had still said nothing 
to her mother about the letter ; and then what she said 
was very little, " When must you answer Mr. Crosbie, 
mamma ? " 

When, my dear ? " 

I mean how long may you take ? It need not be 
to-day ? " 

No; — certainly not to-day." 
Then I will talk over it with you to-morrow. It 
wants some thinking ; — does it not, mamma ? " 

" It would not want much with me, Lily." 

"But then, mamma, you are not I. Believing as 
I believe, feeling as I feel, it wants some thinking. 
TTiat 's what I mean." 

" I wish I could help you, my dear." 

"You shall help me, — to-morrow." The morrow 
came and Lily was still very patient; but she had 
prepared herself, and had prepared the time also, so 
that in the hour of the gloaming she was alone with 



ft 



H 

it 



314 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

her mother, and sure that she might remain alone with 
her for an hour or so. " Mamma, sit there," she said; 
** I will sit down here, and then I can lean against you 
and be comfortable. You can hear as much of me as 
that, — can't you, mamma ? " Then Mrs. Dale put her 
arm over Lily's shoulder, and embraced her daughter. 
" And now, mamma, we will talk about this wonderful 
letter." 

" I do not know, dear, that I have anything to say 
about it." 

"But you must have something to say about it, 
mamma. You must bring yourself to have something 
to say, — to have a great deal to say," 

" You know what I think as well as though I talked 
for a week." 

" That won't do, mamma. Come, you must not be 
hard with me." 
Hard, Lily!" 

I don't mean that you will hurt me, or not give me 
any food,— or that you will not go on caring about me 
more than anything else in the whole world ten times 
over " And Lily as she spoke tightened the em- 
brace of her mother's arm around her neck. " I 'm 
not afraid you 'U be hard in that way. But you must 
soften your heart so as to be able to mention his name 
and talk about him, and tell me what I ought to do. 
You must see with my eyes, and hear with my ears, 
and feel with my heart ; — and then, when I know that 
you have done diat, I must judge with your judgment." 
I wish you to use your own.'' 
Yes ; — ^because you won't see with my eyes and 
hear with my ears. That 's what I call being hard. 
Though you should feed me with blood from your 



tt 



« 



MISS LILY dale's RESOLUTION. 315 

breast, I should call you a hard pelican, unless you 
could give me also the sympathy which I demand from 
you. You see, mamma, we have never allowed our- 
selves to speak of this man." 

" What need has there been, dearest ? " 

" Only because we have been thinking of him. Out 
of the full heart the mouth speaketh; — that is, the 
mouth does so when the full heart is allowed to have 
its own way comfortably." 

" There are things which should be forgotten." 

" Forgotten, mamma! " 

" The memory of which should not be fostered by 
much talking." 

" I have never blamed you, mamma ; never, even in 
my heart. I have known how good and gracious and 
sweet you have been. But I have often accused my- 
self of cowardice because I have not allowed his name 
to cross my lips either to you or to Bell. To talk of 
forgetting such an accident as that is a farce. And as 

for fostering the memory of it ! Do you think 

that I have ever spent a night from that time to this 
without thinking of him ? Do you imagine that I have 
ever crossed our own lawn, or gone down through the 
garden-path there, without thinking of the times when 
he and I walked there together? There needs no 
fostering for such memories as those. They are weeds 
which will grow rank and strong though nothing be 
done to foster them. There is the earth and the rain, 
and that is enough for them. You cannot kill them if 
you would, and they certainly will not die because you 
are careful not to hoe and rake the ground." 

" Lily, you forget how short the time has been as yet." 

"I have thought it very long; but the truth is, 



3X6 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

mamma, that this non-fostering of memories, as you 
call it, has not been the real cause of our silence. We 
have not spoken of Mr. Crosbie because we have not 
thought ahke about him. Had you spoken you would 
have spoken with anger, and I could not endure to 
hear him abused. That has been it.'' 

" Partly so, Lily." 

** Now you must talk of him, and you must not 
abuse him. We must talk of him, because something 
must be done about his letta:. Even if it be left un- 
answered it cannot be so left without discussion. And 
yet you must say no evil of him.'' 

" Am I to think that he behaved well ? " 

** No, mamma ; you are not to think that ; but you 
are to look upon his fault as a fault that has been 
forgiven." 

" It cannot be forgotten, dear." 

But, mamma, when you go to heaven " 

My dear!" 

But you will go to heaven, mamma, and why 
should I not speak of it ? You will go to heaven, and 
yet I suppose you have been wicked, because we are 
all very wicked. But you won't be told of your wicked- 
ness there. You won't be hated there, because you 
were this or that when you were here." 

" I hope not, Lily ; but is n't your argument almost 
profane?" 

" No ; I don't think so. We ask to be forgiven }v-^ 
as we forgive. That is the way in which we hope ^^ 
be forgiven, and therefore it is the way in which we 
ought to forgive. When you say that prayer at night, 
mamma, do you ever ask yourself whedier you have 
forgiven him ? " 



it 
it 



n 



MISS LILY dale's RESOLUTION. 317 

** I forgive him as far as hmnanity can forgive. I 
would do him no injury." 

" But if you and I are forgiven only after that fash- 
ion we shall never get to heaven." Lily paused for 
some further answer from her mother, but as Mrs. Dale 
was silent she allowed tliat portion of the subject to 
pass as completed. " And now, mamma, what answer 
do you think we ought to send to his letter ? " 

" My dear, how am I to say ? You know I have 
said already that if I could act on my own judgment 
I would send none." 

But that was said in the bitterness of gall." 
Come, Lily, say what you think yourself. We 
shall, get on better when you have brought yourself to 
speak. Do you think that you wish to see him again ? " 

" I don't know, mamma. Upon the whole, I think 
not." 

" Then in heaven's name let me write and tell him 
so." 

" Stop a moment, mamma. There are two persons 
here to be considered,^-or rather three." 

"I would not have you think of me in such a 
question." 

" I know you would not ; but never mind, and let 
me go on. The three of us are concerned, at any rate ; 
you, and he, and I. I am thinking of him now. We 
have all suffered, but I do believe that hitherto he has 
H^d the worst of it." 
. . , ' And who has deserved the worst ? " 

" Mamma, how can you go back in that way ? We 
have agreed that that should be regarded as done and 
gone. He has been very unhappy, and now we sec 
what remedy he proposes to himself for his misery. 



3l8 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Do I flatter myself if I allow myself to look at it in 
that way ? " 

" Perhaps he thinks he is offering a remedy for your 
misery." 

As this was said Lily turned round slowly and looked 
up into her mother's face. " Mamma," she said, " that 
is very cruel. I did not think you could be so cruel. 
How can you, who believe him to be so selfish, think 
that ? " 

" It is very hard to judge of men's motives. I have 
never supposed him to be so black that he would not 
wish to make atonement for the evil he has done." 

'* If I thought that, there certainly could be but one 



answer." 



a 



Who can look into a man's heart and judge all the 
sources of his actions ? There are mixed feelings there, 
no doubt. Remorse for what he has done ; regret for 
what he has lost ; — ^something, perhaps, of the purity 
of love." 

"Yes, something, — I hope something, — for his 
sake." 

" But when a horse kicks and bites, you know his 
nature and do not go near him. When a man has 
cheated you once, you think he will cheat you again, 
and you do not deal with him. You do not look to 
gather grapes from thistles, after you have found that 
they are thistles." 

" I still go for the roses though I have often torn my 
hand with thorns in looking for them." 

"But you do not pluck those that have become 
cankered in the blowing." 

*' Because he was once at fault, will he be cankered 
always ? " 



MISS LILY dale's RESOLUTION. 319 

" I would not trust him." 

" Now, mamma, see how different we are ; or, rather, 
how different it is when one judges for oneself, or for 
another. If it were simply myself, and my own future 
fate in life, I would trust him with it all to-morrow 
without a word. I should go to him as a gambler 
goes to the gambling table, knowing that if I lost 
everything I could hardly be poorer than I was before. 
But I should have a better hope than the gambler is 
justified in having. That, however, is not my difficulty. 
And when I think of him I can see a prospect of suc- 
cess for the gambler. I think so well of myself that, 
loving him as I do ; — ^yes, mamma, do not be uneasy ; 
loving him as I do, I believe I could be a comfort to 
him. I think that he might be better with me than 
without me. That is, he would be so, if he could teach 
himself to look back upon the past as I can do, and 
to iudge of me as I can judge of him." 

'' He has nothing, at least, for which to condemn 
you." 

"But he would have were I to marry him now. 
He would condemn me because I had forgiven him. 
He would condemn me because I had borne what he 
had done to me, and had still loved him, — ^loved him 
through it all. He would feel and know the weakness. 
And there is weakness! I have been weak in not 
being able to rid myself of him altogether. He would 
recognise this after a while, and would despise me for 
it. But he would not see what there is of devotion to 
him in my being able to bear the taunts of the world 
in going back to him, — and your taunts and my own 
taunts. I should have to bear his also, — not spoken 
aloud, but to be seen in his face, and heard in his 



320 THE LAST CHRONICLE OP BARSET. 

voice, — and that I could not endure. If he despised 
me, and he would, that would make us both unhappy. 
Therefore, mamma, tell him not to come ; tell him that 
he can never come ; but, if it be possible, tell him this 
tenderly." Then she got up and walked away, as 
though she were going out of the room; but her 
mother had caught her before the door was open. 

" Lily," she said, '* if you think you can be happy 
with him, he shall come." 

" No, mamma, no. I have been looking for the 
light ever since I read his letter, and I think 1 see it. 
And now, mamma, I will make a clean breast of it 
From the moment in which I heard that that poor 
woman was dead, I have been fluttered. It has been 
weak of me, and silly, and contemptible. But I could 
not help it. I kept on asking myself whether he would 
ever think of me now. Well; he has answered the 
question ; and has so done it that he has forced upon 
me the necessity of a resolution. I have resolved, and 
I believe that I shall be the better for it." 

The letter which Mrs. Dale wrote to Mr. Crosbie 
was as follows:— * 

" Mrs. Dale presents her compliments to Mr. Cros- 
bie, and begs to assure him that it will not now be 
possible that he should renew the relations which were 
broken off, three years ago, between him and Mrs. 
Dale's family." 

It was very short, certainly, and it did not by any 
means satisfy Mrs. Dale. But she did not know how 
to say more without saying too much. The object of 
her letter was to save him the trouble of a futile perse- 



MISS LILY dale's RESOLUTION. 32 1 

verance, and them from the annoyance of persecution ; 
and this she wished to do without mentioning her 
daughter's name. And she was determined that no 
word should escape her in which there was any touch 
of severity, any hint of an accusation. So much she 
owed to Lily in return for all that Lily was prepared 
to abandon. "There is my note," she said at last, 
offering it to her daughter. " I did not mean to see 
it," said Lily ; " and, mamma, I will not read it now. 
Let it go. I know you have been good and have not 
scolded him." 

" I have not scolded hxai certainly," said Mrs. Dale. 
And then the letter was sent. 



VOL. I. — 21 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

MRS. DOBBS BROUGHTON'S DINNER-PARTV. 

Mr. John Eames, of the Income-tax Office, had in 
these days risen so high in the world that people in the 
west end of town, and very, respectable people too, — 
people living in South Kensington, in neighbourhoods 
not far from Belgravia, and in very handsome houses 
round Bayswater, — ^were glad to ask him out to dinner. 
Money had been left to him by an earl, and rumour 
had of course magnified that money. He was a pri- 
vate secretary, which is in itself a great advance on be- 
ing a mere clerk. And he had become the particularly 
intimate friend of an artist who had pushed himself 
into high fashion during the last year or two, — one 
Conway Dalrymple, whom the rich English world was 
beginning to pet and pelt with gilt sugar-plums, and 
who seemed to take very kindly to petting and gilt 
sugar-plums. I don't know whether the friendship of 
Conway Dalrymple had not done as much to secure 
John Eames his position at the Bayswater dinner- 
tables, as had either the private secretar3rship, or the 
earl's money; and yet, when they had first known 
each other, now only two or three years ago, Conway 
Dalrymple had been the poorer man of the two. Some 
chance had brought them together, and they had lived 
in the same rooms for nearly two years. This arrange- 

32a 



MRS. DOBBS BROUGHTON'S DINNER-PARTY. 323 

ment had been broken up, and the Conway Dahymple 
of these days had a studio of his own, somewhere near 
Kensington Palace, where he painted portraits of young 
countesses, and in which he had even painted a young 
duchess. It was the peculiar merit of his pictures, — 
so at least said the art-loving world, — that, though the 
likeness was always good, the stiffness of the modern 
portrait was never there. There was also ever some 
story told in Dahymple's pictures over and above the 
story of the portraitiu'e4 This countess was drawn as 
a fairy with wings, that countess as a goddess with a 
helmet. The thing took for a time, and Conway 
Dalrymple was picking up his gilt sugar-plums With 
considerable rapidity. 

On a certain day he and John Earned were to dine 
out together at a certain house in that Bayswater dis« 
trict. It was a large mansion, if not made of stone 
yet looking very stony, with thirty windows at least, all 
of them with cut-stone frames, requiring, let me say, at 
least four thousand a year for its maintenance. And 
its owner, Dobbs Broughton, a man Very well known 
both in the City and over the grass in Northampton- 
shire^ was supposed to have a good deal more than 
four thousand a year. Mi^. Dobbs Brdughton, a Very 
beautiful woman, who certainly was not yet thirty-five, 
let her worst enemies say what they might, had been 
painted by Conway Dalrymple as a Grace. There 
were, of course, three Graces in the picture, but each 
Grace was Mrs. Dobbs Broughton repeated. We all 
know how Graces stand sometimes ; two Graces look- 
ing one way, and one the other. In this picture, Mrs. 
Dobbs Broughton as centre Grace looked you fuu m 
the face. The same lady looked away from you, dis^ 



324 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

playing her left shoulder, as one side Grace, and dis- 
playing her right shoulder as the other side Grace. 
For this pretty toy Mr. Conway Dalrymple had picked 
up a gilt sugar-plum to the tune of six hundred pounds, 
and had, moreover, won the heart both of Mr. and 
Mrs. Dobbs Broughton. " Upon my word, Johnny," 
Dabymple had said to his friend, " he 's a deuced good 
fellow, has really a good glass of claret, — which is get- 
ting rarer and rarer every day, — and will mount you 
for a day, whenever you please, down at Market Har- 
boro*. Come and dine with them." Johnny Eames 
condescended, and did go and dine with Mr. Dobbs 
Broughton. I wonder whether he remembered, when 
Conway Dalrymple was talking of the rarity of good 
claret, how much beer the young painter used to drink 
when they were out together in the country, as they 
used to be occasionally, three years ago ; and how the ^ 
painter had then been used to complain that bitter beer 
cost threepence a glass, instead of twopence, which 
had hitherto been the recognised price of the article. 
In those days the sugar-plums had not been gilt, and 
had been much rarer. 

Johnny Eames and his friend went together to the 
house of Mr. Dobbs Broughton. As Dabymple lived 
close to the Broughtons, Eames picked him up in a 
cab. " Filthy things these cabs are," said Dalrymple, 
as he got into the Hansom. 

" I don't know about that," said Johnny. " They 're 
pretty good, I think." 

" Foul things," said Conway. " Don't you feel what 
a draught comes in here because the glass is cracked? 
I 'd have one of my own, only I should never know 
what to do with it." 



MRS. DOBBS BROUGHTON's DINNER-PARTY. 325 

" The greatest nuisance on earth, I should think," 
said Johnny. 

" If you could always have it standing ready round 
the comer," said the artist, "it would be delightful. 
But one would want half-a-dozen horses and two or 
three men for that." 

" I think the stands are the best," said Johnny. 

They were a little late, — a, little later than they* 
should have been had they considered that Eames was 
to be introduced to his new acquaintances. But he 
had already liv^d long enough before the world to be 
quite at his ease in such circtunstances, and he entered 
Mrs. Broughton's drawing-room with his pleasantest 
smile upon his face. But as he entered he saw a sight 
which made him look serious in spite of his efforts to 
the contrary. Mr. Adolphus Crosbie, secretary to the 
Board at the General Committee Office, was standing 
on the rug before the fire. 

" Who will be there ? " Eames had asked of his 
friend, when the suggestion to go and dine with Dobbs 
Broughton had been made to him. 

" Impossible to say," Conway had replied. " A cer- 
tain horrible fellow of the name of Musselboro will 
almost certainly be there. He always is when they 
have anything of a swell dinner-party. He is a sort 
of partner of Broughton's in the city. He wears a lot 
of chains and has elaborate whiskers, and an elaborate 
waistcoat, which is worse ; and he does n't wash his 
hands as often as he ought to do." 

" An objectionable party, rather, I should say," said 
Eames. 

"Well, yes; Musselboro is objectionable. He *s 
very good-humoured, you know, and good-looking in 



326 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

a sort of way, and goes everywhere ; that is, among 
people of this sort. Of course he 's not hand-and-glove 
with Lord Ofsrby ; and I wish he could be made to 
wash his hands. They have n't any other standing 
dish, and you may meet anybody. They always have 
a Member of Parliament ; they generally manage to 
capture a baronet ; and I have met a Peer there. On 
that august occasion Musselboro was absent." 

So instructed, Eames, on entering the room, looked 
round at once icx Mr. Musselboro. ** If I don't see 
the whiskers and chain,'' he had said, '' I shall know 
there 's a Peer." Mr. Musselboro was in the room, 
but Eames had descried Mr. Crosbie long before be 
had seen Mr. Musselboro. 

There was no reason for confusion on his part in 
meeting Crosbie. They had both loved Lily Dale. 
Crosbie might have been successful, but for his own 
fault. Eames had on one occasion been thrown into 
contact with him, and on that occasion had quarrelled 
with him, and had beaten him, giving him a black eye, 
and in this way obtaining some mastery over him. 
There was no reason why he should be ashamed of 
meeting Crosbie ; and yet when he saw him, the blood 
mounted all over his face, and he forgot to make any 
further search for Mr. Musselboro. 

''I am so much obliged to Mr. Dalrymple f ex* bring- 
ing you," said Mrs. Dobbs Broughton very sweetly, 
'' only he ought to have come sooner. Naughty man! 
I know it was his fault. Will you take Miss Demolines 
down? Miss Demolines, — Mr. Eames." 

Mr. Dobbs Broughton was somewhat sulky and had 
not welcomed our hero very cordially. He was be- 
ginning to think that Conway Dalrymple gave himself 



MRS. pOBB$ BROUGHTON'iS DI^N^R-PARTY. 39 ^ 

airsy apd did not sufficiently lunderstand that a man 
who had horses at l^^ket Harboro' and '41 Lafitte 
was at any rate as goo4 as a painter ^ho was pelted 
with gilt sugar-plums for painting countesses. But he 
was a man whose ill-humour never lasted long, and he 
was soon pressing his wine op Johnny Eames as though 
he loved him dearly. 

But there wa^ yet a fe.w minutes before they went 
down to dinner, an.4 Johnny Eames, as he endeavoured 
to find something to say to Miss PemQlin,es, — ^which 
was difficult, as he did not in the least kQOw l^iss 
Demolines' li^ie oi .c(^ve]:]sation,— wa$ aw^e that his 
efforJts were impeded by thought? pf Mr. Crosbie. The 
man looked plder thap when he had last seen him, — so 
much older that Eames was astonished. He was bald, 
or becoming bald; and his whiskers were grey, or 
were becoming grey, and he was much fatter. Johnny 
Eames, who was always thinking of Lily Dale, could 
not now keep himself froni thinking of Adolphus Cros- 
bie. He saw at a glance that the man was in moiun- 
ing, though there was nothing but his shirt-studs by 
which to tell it ; and he knew that he was in mourning 
for his wife. " I wish she might haye lived for ever," 
Johnny said to himself. 

He had not yet been definitely called upon by the 
entrance of the servant to offer his arm to Miss Demo- 
lines, when Crosbie walked across to him from the rug 
and addressed him. 

" Mr. Eames," said he, " it is some time since we 
met.*' And he offered his hand to Johnny. 

"Yes, it is," said Johnny, accepting the proffered 
salutation. " I don't know exactly how long, but ever 
so long." 



328 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" I am very glad to have the opportunity of shaking 
hands with you," said Crosbie ; and then he retired, as 
it had become his duty to wait with his arm ready for 
Mrs. Dobbs Broughton. Having married an earPs 
daughter he was selected for that honour. There was 
a barrister in the room, and Mrs. Dobbs Broughton 
ought to have known better. As she professed to be 
guided in such matters by the rules laid down by the 
recognised authorities, she ought to have been aware 
that a man takes no rank from his wife. But she was 
entitled, I think, to merciful consideration for her error. 
A woman situated as was Mrs. Dobbs Broughton can- 
not altogether ignore these terrible rules. She cannot 
let her guests draw lots for precedence. She must 
select some one for the honour of her own arm. And 
amidst the intricacies of rank how is it possible for 
a woman to learn and to remember everything? If 
Providence would only send Mrs. Dobbs Broughton a 
Peer for every dinner-party, the thing would go more 
easily ; but what woman will tell me, off-hand, which 
should go out of a room first, a C.B., an Admiral 
of the Blue, the dean of Barchester, or the dean of 
Arches ? Who is to know who was everybody's father? 
How am I to remember that young Thompson's pro- 
genitor was made a baronet and not a knight when he 
was Lord Mayor? Perhaps Mrs. Dobbs Broughton 
ought to have known that Mr. Crosbie could have 
gained nothing by his wife's rank, and the barrister 
may be considered to have been not immoderately 
severe when he simply spoke of her afterwards as the 
silliest and most ignorant old woman he had ever met 
in his life. Eames with the lovely Miss Demolines on 
his arm was the last to move before the hostess. Mr. 



MRS. DOBBS BROUGHTON'S DINNER-PARTY. 329 

Dobbs Broughton had led the way energetically with 
old Lady Demob'nes. There was no doubt about Lady 
Demolines, — ^as his wife had told him, because her title 
marked her. Her husband had been a physician in 
Paris, and had been knighted in consequence of ^ome 
benefit supposed to have been done to some French 
scion of royalty, — when such scions in France were 
royal and not imperial. Lady Demolines' rank was 
not much, certainly ; but it served to mark her, and 
was beneficial. 

As he went downstairs Eames was still thinking of 
his meeting with Crosbie, and had as yet hardly said a 
word to his neighbour, and his neighbour had not said 
a word to him. Now Johnny understood dinners quite 
well enough to know that in a party of twelve, among 
whom six are ladies, everything depends on your next 
neighbour, and generally on the next neighbour who 
specially belongs to you ; and as he took his seat he 
was a little alarmed as to his prospect for the next two 
hours. On his other- hand sat Mrs. Ponsonby, the 
barrister's wife, and he did not much like the look of 
Mrs. Ponsonby. She was fat, heavy, and good-look- 
ing ; with a broad space between her eyes, and light 
smooth hair ; — a, youthful British matron every inch 
of her, of whom any barrister with a young family of 
children might be proud. Now Miss Demolines, 
though she was hardly to be called beautiful, was at 
any rate remarkable. She had large, dark, well-shaped 
eyes, and very dark hair, which she wore tangled about 
in an extraordinary manner, and she had an expressive 
face, — a face made expressive by the owner's will. 
Such power of expression is often attained by dint of 
labour, — though it never reaches to the expression of 



330 TH£ UlST CHEONICLE OF BARSfiT. 

anything in particular. She ^as almost sufficiently 
good-looking to be justified in considering herself to be 
a beauty. 

But Miss DemolineSy thpugh she had said nothing as 
yet, knew her game yery well. A lady cannot begin 
conversation to any good purpose in the drawing-room, 
when she is seate4 and the man is standing ; — ^nor can 
she know then how the table may subsequently arrange 
itself. Powder may be wasted, and often is wasted, 
and the spirit rebels against the necessity of commenc- 
ing a second enterprisje. Bu^t Mis$ Demolines, when 
she found herself seated, arid perceived that on the 
other side of her was Mr. Ponsonby, a married n^an, 
commenced her enteiprise at once, and our friend Johp 
£ame3 was immediately aware that he would have no 
difficulty as to conversation. 

" Don't you like winter dinner-parties ? " began Miss 
Demolines. This was said just a^ Johnny was taking 
his seat, and he had time to declare that he liked din- 
ner-parties at all periods of the year if the dinner was 
good and the people pleasant before the host had mut- 
tered something which was intended to be understood 
to be a grace. "But I mean especially in winter," 
continued Miss Demolines. " I don't think daylight 
should eyer be admitted at a dinner-table ; and though 
you may shut out the daylight^ you can't stmt out the 
heat. And then there are always so many other things 
to go to in May and June and July. Dinners should 
be stopped by Act of Parliament for those three 
months. I don't care what people do afterwards, 
because we always fly away on the first of August." 
That is good-natured on your part." 
I 'm sure what I say would be for the good of 



ft 






MRS. DOBBS BROUGHTON-S DINNER-PARTY. 33I 

society ; — ^but at this tinue of the year a dinner is warm 
and comfortable." 

Very comfortable, I think." 
And people get to know each other;" — in saying 
which Miss Demolines looked very pleasantly up into 
Johnny's face. 

" There is a great deal in that," said he. " I wonder 
whether you and I will get to. know each other? " 

" Of course we shall ;— r-that is, if I 'm worth know- 
ing." 

'' There can be no doubt about that, I should say." 

" Time alone can tell. But, Mr. Eames, I see that 
Mr. Crosbie is a friend of yours." 

" Hardly a friend." 

" I know very well that men are friends when they 
step up and shake hands with each other. It is the 
same as when women kiss." 

'* When I see women kiss, I always think that there 
is deep hatred at the bottom of it." 

" And there may be deep hatred between you and 
Mr. Crosbie for anything I know to the contrary,'* said 
Miss Demolines. 

" The very deepest,^* said Johnny, pretending to look 
grave. 

" Ah, then I know he is your bosom friend, and that 
you will tell him anything I sayl What a strange 
history that was c^ his marriage ! " 

" So I have heard ; — ^but he is not quite bosom friend 
enough with me to have told me all the particulars. 
I know that his wife is dead." 

" Dead ; oh, yes ; she has been dead these two years 
X should say." 

Not so long as that, I should thinL" 



ti 



it 



332 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" Well, — ^perhaps not. But it *s ever so long ago ; 
— quite long enough for him to be married again. 
Did you know her? " 

I never saw her in my life." 
I knew her, — ^not well indeed ; but I am intimate 
with her sister. Lady Amelia Gagebee, and I have met 
her there. None of that family have married what you 
may call well. And now, Mr. Eames, pray look at the 
menu and tell me what I am to eat. Arrange for me 
a little dinner of my own, out of the great bill of fare 
provided. I always expect some gentleman to do that 
for me. Mr. Crosbie, you know, only lived with his 
wife for one month." 

" So I Ve been told." 

"And a terrible month they had of it. I used to 
hear of it. He does n*t look that sort of a man, does 
he?" 

" Well ; — ^no. I don*t think he does. But what sort 
of man do you mean? " 

" Why such a regular Bluebeard ! Of course you 
know how he treated another girl before he married 
Lady Alexandrina. She died of it, — with a broken 
heart ; absolutely died ; and there he is, indifferent as 
possible ; — and would treat me in the same way to- 
morrow if I would let him." 

Johnny Eames, finding it impossible to talk to Miss 
Demolines about Lily Dale, took up the card of the 
dinner and went to work in earnest, recommending his 
neighbour what to eat and what to pass by. "But 
you 've skipped the pit6," she said, with energy. 

" Allow me to ask you to choose mine for me in- 
stead. You are much more fit to do it." And she did 
choose his dinner for him. 



MRS. DOBBS BROUGHTON's DINNER-PARTY. 333 

They were sitting at a round table, and in order that 
the ladies and gentlemen should alternate themselves 
properly, Mr. Musselboro was opposite to the host. 
Next to him on his right was old Mrs. Van Siever, the 
widow of a Dutch merchant, who was very rich. She 
was a ghastly thing to look at, as well from the quan- 
tity as from the nature of the wiggeries which she wore. 
She had not only a false front, but long false curls, as 
to which it cannot be conceived that she would suppose 
that any one would be ignorant as to their falseness. 
She was very thin, too, and very small, and putting 
aside her wiggeries, you would think her to be all eyes. 
She was a ghastly old woman to the sight, and not al- 
together pleasant in her mode of talking. She seemed 
to know Mr. Musselboro very well, for she called him 
by his name without any prefix. He had, indeed, 
begun life as a clerk in her husband's office. 

"Why does n*t What*s-his-name have real silver 
forks ? " she said to him. Now Mrs. What*s-his-name, 
— Mrs. Dobbs Broughton, we will call her — ^was sitting 
on the other side of Mr. Musselboro, between him and 
Mr. Crosbie; and, so placed, Mr. Musselboro found 
it rather hard to answer the question, more especially 
as he was probably aware that other questions would 
follow. 

" What 's the use ? " said Mr. Musselboro. " Every- 
body has these plated things now. What *s the use of 
a lot of capital lying dead ? " 

" Everybody does n't. I don't. Yoii know as well 
as I do, Musselboro, that the appearance of the thing 
goes for a great deal. Capital is n*t lying dead as long 
as people know that you 've got it." 

Before answering this Mr. Musselboro was driven to 



334 "^^^ ^A^ CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

reflect that Mrs. Dobbs Broughton would probably 
hear his reply. "You won't find that there is any 
doubt on that head in the city as to Broughton," he 
said. 

" I shan't ask in the city, and if I did, I should not 
believe what people told me. I think there are sillier 
folks in the city than anywhere else. What did he 
give for that picture upstairs which the young man 
painted? " 

" What, Mts. Dobbs Broughton's portrait? " 

" You don't call that a portrait, do you? I mean 
the one with the three naked women? " Mr. Mussel- 
boro glanced round with one eye, arid felt sure that 
Mrs. Dobbs Broughton had heard the question. But 
the old woman was determined to haVe an answer. 
" How much did he give for it, Musselboro? " 

" Six hundred pounds, I believe," said Mr. Mussel- 
borO) looking straight before him as he answered, and 
pretending to treat the subject with perfect indifference. 

" Did he indeed, now? Six hundred pounds! And 
yet he has n't got silver spoons. How things are 
changed! Tell mei Musselboro, who was that young 
man who came in with the painter? " 

Mr. Musselboro turned round and asked Mrs. 
Broughton. "A Mr. John Eames, Mrs. Van Siever," 
.said Mrs. Broughton, whispering across the front of 
Mr. Musselboro. " He is private secretary to Lord — 
Lord — Lord — I forget who. Some one of the minis- 
ters, I know. And he had a great fortune left him the 
other day by Lord — Lord — Lord — ^somebody else." 

" All among the lords, I see," said Mrs. Van Siever. 
Then Mrs. Dobbs Broughton drew herself back, re- 
membering some little attack which had been made on 



KRS. DOBBS BROUGHTON'S DINNER-PARTY. 335 

her by Mrs. Van Siever when she herself had had the 
real lord to dine with hen 

There was a Miss Van Siever there also, sitting 
between Crosbie and Conway Dalrymple. Conway 
Dalrymple had been specially brought there to sit next 
to Miss Van Siever. " There 's no knowing how much 
she *11 have/* said Mrs. Dobbs Broughton, in the 
warmth of her friendship. " But it 's all real. It is, 
indeed. The mother is awfully rich." 

"But she *s awful in another way, too," said 
Dalr3rmple. 

" Indeed she is^ Conway." Mrs. Dobbs Broughton 
had got into the way of calliiig her young friend by his 
Christian name. '* All the world calls him Conway," 
She had said to her hiisband once l^hen her husband 
caught her doing so. " She is awfiil. Her husband 
made the business in the city^ when things were very 
different frofti what they are now, arid I can't help 
having her. She has transactions of business with 
Dobbs. But there *s no mistake about the money." 

" She need n*t leave it to her daughter, I suppose? " 

"But why should n't she? She has nbbody else. 
You might offer to paint her, you know; She 'd make 
an excellent picture. So much character. You come 
ahd see her." 

Conway Dalrymple had expressed his willingness to 
meet Miss Van Siever, saying something, however, as 
to his present position being one which did not admit 
of any matrimonial speculation. Then Mrs. Dobbs 
Broughton had told him, with much seriousness, that 
he was altogether wrong, and that were he to forget 
himself, or commit himself, or misbehave himself, there 
must be an end to their pleasant intimacy. In answer 



33^ THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

to which, Mr. Dahymple had said that her Grace was 
surely of all Graces the least gracious. And now he 
had come to meet Miss Van Siever, and was seated 
next to her at table. 

Miss Van Siever, who at this time had perhaps 
reached her twenty-fifth year, was certainly a hand- 
some young woman. She was fair and large, bearing 
no likeness whatever to her mother. Her features 
were regular, and her full, clear eyes had a briUiance 
of their own, looking at you always steadfastly and 
boldly, though very seldom pleasantly. Her mouth 
would have beeii beautiful had it not been too strong 
for feminine beauty. Her teeth were perfect, — ^too 
perfect, — ^looking like miniature walls of carved ivory. 
She knew the fault of this perfection and showed her 
teeth as little as she could. Her nose and chin were 
finely chiselled, and her head stood well upon her 
shoulders. But there was something hard about it all 
which repelled you. Dahymple, when he saw her, 
recoiled from her, not outwardly, but inwardly. Yes, 
she was handsome, as may be a horse or a tiger ; but 
there was about her nothing of feminine softness. He 
could not bring himself to think of taking Clara Van 
Siever as the model that was to sit before him for the 
rest of his life. He certainly could make a picture of 
her, as had been suggested by his friend, Mrs. Brough- 
ton, but it must be as Judith with the dissevered head, 
or as Jael using her hammer over the temple of Sisera. 
Yes, — ^he thought she would do as Jael ; and if Mrs. 
Van Siever would throw him a sugar-plum, for he 
would want the sugar-plum, seeing that any other re- 
sult was out of the question, — the thing might be done. 
Such was the idea of Mr. Conway Dahymple respect- 



it 



MRS. DOBBS BROUGHTON'S DINNER-PARTY. 337 

ing Miss Van Siever, — ^before he led her down to 
dinner. 

At first he found it hard to talk to her. She an- 
swered him, and not with monosyllables. But she 
answered him without sympathy, or apparent pleasure 
in talking. Now the young artist was in the habit of 
being flattered by ladies, and expected to have his small 
talk made very easy for him. He liked to give himself 
little airs, and was not generally disposed to labour very 
hard at the task of making himself agreeable. 

" Were you ever painted yet? " he asked her after they 
had both been sitting silent for two or three minutes. 
Was I ever — ever painted? In what way? " 
I don't mean rouged, or enamelled, or got up by 
Madame Rachel ; but have you ever had your portrait 
taken?" 

" I have been photographed, — of course." 

" That *s why I asked you if you had been painted, 
— ^so as to make some little distinction between the 
two. I am a painter by profession, and do portraits." 

" So Mrs. Broughton told me." 
I am not asking for a job, you know." 
I am quite sure of that." 

But I should have thought you would have been 
sure to have sat to somebody." 

" I never did. I never thought of doing so. One 
does those things at the instigation of one's intimate 
friends, — fathers, mothers, uncles, and aunts, and the 
like." 

" Or husbands, perhaps, — or lovers? " 

" Well, yes ; my intimate friend is my mother, and 
she would never dream of such a thing. She hates 
pictures." 

VOL. I. — 22 






33S THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 



(t 
it 



It 
(t 



Hates pictures!" 

And especially portraits. And I 'm afraid, Mr. 
Dalrymple, she hates artists." 

'* Good heavens; how cruel! I suppose there is 
some story attached to it. There has been some fatal 
hkeness, — some terrible picture, — something in her 
early days?" 

" Nothing of the kind, Mr. Dalrymple. It is merely 
the fact that her sympathies are with ugly things, rather 
than with pretty things. I think she loves the mahog- 
any dinner-table better than anything else in the house ; 
and she likes to have everything dark, and plain, and 
solid." 

"And good?" 
Good of its kind, certainly." 
If everybody was like your mother, how would the 
artists live? " 

" There would be none." 

"And the world, you think, would be none the 
poorer? " 

"I did not speak of myself. I think the world 
would be very much the poorer. I am very fond of 
the ancient masters, though I do not suppose that I 
understand them." 

"They are easier understood than the modern, I 
can tell you. Perhaps you don't care for modem 
pictures? " 

" Not in comparison, certainly. If that is uncivil, 
you have brought it on yourself. But I do not in 
truth mean anything derogatory to the painters of the 
day. When tiieir pictures are old, they, — ^that is the 
good ones among them, — ^will be nice also." 

" Pictures are like wine, and want age, you think." 



MRS. DOBBS BROUGHTON'S DINNER-PARTY. 339 

"Yes, and statues too, and buildings above all 
things. The colours of new paintings are so glaring, 
and the faces are so bright and self-conscious, that they 
look to me when I go to the exhibition like coloured 
prints in a child's new picture-book. It is the same 
thing with buildings. One sees all the points, and 
nothing is left to the imagination." 

" I find I have come across a real critic." 

" I hope, at any rate, I am not a sham one ; " and 
Miss Van Siever as she said this looked very savage. 

" I should n't take you to be a sham in anything." 

" Ah, that would be saying a great deal for myself. 
Who can undertake to say that he is not a sham in 
anything? " 

As she said this the ladies were getting up. So 
Miss Van Siever also got up, and left Mr. Conway 
Dalrymple to consider whether he could say or could 
think of himself that he was not a sham in anything. 
As regarded Miss Clara Van Siever, he began to think 
that he should not object to paint her portrait, even 
though there might be no sugar-plum. He would cer- 
tainly do it as Jael ; and he would, if he dared, insert 
dimly in the background some idea of the face of the 
mother, half-appearing, half-vanishing, as the spirit of 
the sacrifice. He was composing his picture while 
Mr. Dobbs Broughton was arranging himself and his 
bottles. 

" Musselboro," he said, " I '11 come up between you 
and Crosbie. Mr. Eames, though I run away from 
you, the claret shall remain ; or, rather, it shall flow 
backwards and forwards as rapidly as you will." 
I 11 keep it moving," said Johnny. 
Do ; there *s a good fellow. It *s a' nice glass of 



tf 



340 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

wine, is n't it ? Old Ramsby, who keeps as good a 
stock of stuff as any wine merchant in London, gave 
me a hint, three or four years ago, that he 'd a lot of 
tidy Bordeaux. It 's '47, you know. He had ninety 
dozen, and I took it all." 

" What was the figure, Broughton ? " said Crbsbie, 
asking the question which he knew was expected. 

"Well, I only gave one hundred and four for it 
then; it 's worth a hundred and twenty now. I 
would n't sell a botde of it for any money. Come, 
Dalrymple, pass it round ; but fill your glass first." 

" Thank you, no ; I don't like it. 1 11 drink sherry." 

" Don't like it!" said Dobbs Broughton. 

" It 's strange, is n't it ? but I don't." 

"I thought you particularly told me to drink his 
claret ? " said Johnny to his friend afterwards. 

" So I did," said Conway ; " and wonderfully good 
wine it is. But I make it a rule never to eat or drink 
anything in a man's house when he praises it himself 
and tells me the price of it." 

" And I make it a rule never to cut the nose off my 
own face," said Johnny. 

Before they went Johnny Eames had been specially 
invited to call on Lady Demolines, and had said that 
he would do so. " We live in Porchester Gardens," 
said Miss Demolines. "Upon my word, I believe 
that the farther London stretches in that direction, the 
farther mamma will go. She thinks the air so much 
better. I know it 's a long way." 

" Distance is nothing to me," said Johnny ; " I can 
always set off over-night." 

Conway Dalrymple did not get invited to call on 
Mrs. Van Siever, but before he left the house he did 



MRS. DOBBS BROUGHTON'S DINNER-PARTY. 34 1 

say a word or two more to his friend Mrs. Broughton 
as to Clara Van Siever. " She is a fine young woman," 
he said ; " she is indeed." 

" You have found it out, have you ? " 

"Yes, I have found it out. I do not doubt that 
some day she 'U murder her husband or her mother, or 
startle the world by some newly-invented crime ; but 
that only makes her the more interesting." 

" And when you add to that all the old woman's 
money," said Mrs. Dobbs Broughton, '* you think that 
she might do ? " 

"For a picture, certainly. I 'm speaking of her 
simply as a model. Could we not manage it? Get 
her once here without her mother knowing it, or 
Broughton, or any one. I *ve got the subject, — ^Jael 
and Sisera, you know. I should like to put Mussel- 
boro in as Sisera, with the nail half driven in." Mrs. 
Dobbs Broughton declared that the scheme was a 
great deal too wicked for her participation, but at last 
she pronused to think of it. 

" You might as well come up and have a cigar," 
Dalrymple said, as he and his friend left Mr. Brough- 
ton's house. Johnny said that he would go up and 
have a cigar or two. "And now tell me what you 
think of Mrs. Dobbs Broughton and her set," said 
Conway. 

" Well, I '11 tell you what I think of them. I think 
they stink of money, as the people say ; but I 'm not 
sure that they have got any all the same." 

" I should suppose he makes a large income." 

"Very likely, and perhaps spends more than he 
makes. A good deal of it looked to me like make- 
believe. There 's no doubt about the claret, but the 



342 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

champagne was execrable. A man is a criminal to 
have such stuff handed round to his guests. And there 
is n't the ring of real gold about the house." 

" I hate the ring of the gold, as you call it," said the 
artist. 

" So do I, — I hate it like poison ; but if it is there, 
I like it to be true. There is a sort of persons going 
now, — and one meets them out, here and there, every 
day of one's life, — ^who are downright Brunmiagem to 
the ear and to the touch and to the sight, and we 
recognise them as such at the very first moment. My 
honoured lord and master. Sir Raffle, is one such. 
There is no mistaking him. Clap him down upon the 
counter, and he rings dull and untrue at once. Pardon 
me, my dear Conway, if I say the same of your 
excellent friend Mr. Dobbs Broughton." 

" I think you go a little too far, but I don't deny it. 
What you mean is, that he 's not a gentleman." 

" I mean a great deal more than that. Bless you, 
when you come to talk of a gentleman, who is to define 
the word? How do I know whether or no I 'm a 
gentleman myself? When I used to be in Burton 
Crescent, I was hardly a gentleman then, sitting at 
the same table with Mrs. Roper and the Lupexes ; — 
do you remember them, — and the lovely Amelia ? " 

" I suppose you were a gentleman, then, as well as 



now." 



" You, if you had been painting duchesses then, with 
a studio in Kensington Gardens, would not have said 
so, if you had happened to come across me. I can't 
define a gentleman, even in my own mind ; — but I can 
define the sort of man with whom I think I can live 
pleasantly." 



MRS. DOBBS BROUGHTON'S DINNER-PARTY. 343 






And poor Dobbs does n't come within the line ? " 
N — o, not quite ; a very nice fellow, I *m quite 
sure, and I am very much obliged to you for taking 
me there." 

" I never will take you to any house again. And 
what did you think of his wife ? " 

" That 's a horse of another colour altogether. A 
pretty woman with such a figure as hers has got a right 
to be anything she pleases. I see you are a great 
favourite." 

"No, I 'm not; — ^not especially. I do like her. 
She wants to make up a match between me and that 
Miss Van Siever. Miss Van is to have gold by the 
ingot, and jewels by the bushel, and a hatful of bank 
shares, and a whole mine in Cornwall, for her fortune." 

" And is very handsome into the bargain." 

" Yes ; she *s handsome." 

" So is her mother," said Johnny. " If you take the 
daughter, I 11 take the mother, and see if I can't do 
you out of a mine or two. Good-night, old fellow. 
I *m only joking about old Dobbs. I *11 go and dine 
there again to-morrow, if you like it." 



CHAPTER XXV. 

IfISS MADALINA D£MOLIN£S. 



"I don't think you care two straws about her," 
Conway Dahymple said to his friend John Eames, two 
days after the dinner-party at Mrs. Dobbs Broughton's. 
The painter was at work in his studio, and the private 
secretary from the Income-tax Office, who was no 
doubt engaged on some special mission to the West 
End on tiie part of Sir Raffle Buffle, was sitting in a 
lounging-chair and smoking a cigar. 

" Because I don't go about with my stockings cross- 
gartered, and do that kind of business ? " 

"Well, yes; because you don't do that kind of 
business, more or less." 

" It is n't in my line, my dear fellow. I know what 
you mean, very well. I dare say, artistically speak- 
ing, " 

Don't be an ass, Johnny." 

Well then, poetically, or romantically, if you like 
that better, — I dare say that poetically or romantically 
I am deficient. I eat my dinner very well, and I don't 
suppose I ought to do that ; and, if you '11 believe me, 
I find myself laughing sometimes." 

"I never knew a man who laughed so much. 
You 're always laughing." 

And that, you think, is a bad sign? " 

344 



tt 



n 



it 
it 



MISS MADALINA PEMOLINES. 345 

" I don't believe you really care about her. I think 
you are aware that you have got a love-affair on hand, 
and that you hang on to it rather persistently, having 
in some way come to a resolution that you would be 
persistent. But there is n't much heart in it. I dare 
say there was once." 

And that is your opinion ? " 
You are just like some of those men who for years 
past have been going to write a book on some new 
subject. The intention has been sincere at first, and 
it never altogether dies away. But the would-be 
author, though he still talks of his work, knows that it 
will never be executed, and is very patient under the 
disappointment. All enthusiasm about the thing is 
gone, but he is still known as the man who is going 
to do it some day. You are the man who means to 
marry Miss Dale in five, ten, or twenty years' time." 

*' Now, Conway, all that is thoroughly unfair. The 
would-be author talks of his would-be book to every- 
body. I have never talked of Miss Dale to any one 
but you, and one or two very old family friends. And 
from year to year, and from month to month, I have 
done all that has been in my power to win her, I 
don't think I shall ever succeed, and yet I am as de- 
termined about it as I was when I first began it, — or 
rather much more so. If I do not marry Lily, I shall 
never marry at all, and if anybody were to tell me to- 
morrow that she had made up her mind to have me, I 
should well-nigh go mad for joy. But I am not going 
to give up all my life for love. Indeed, the less I can 
bring myself to give up for it, the better I shall think 
of myself. Now I '11 go away and call on ok| Lady 
Demolines." 



546 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 



" And flirt with her daughter." 

" Yes ; — flirt with her daughter, if I get the oppor- 
tunity. Why should n't I flirt with her daughter ? *• 

" Why not, if you Kke it ? " 

" I don't like it, — ^not particularly, that is ; because 
the young lady is not very pretty, nor yet very graceful, 
nor yet very wise." 

" She is pretty after a fashion," said the artist, " and 
if not wise, she is at any rate clever." 

" Nevertheless, I do not like her," said John £ames. 

" Then why do you go there ? " 

"One has to be civil to people though they are 
neither pretty nor wise. I don't mean to insinuate that 
Miss Demolines is particularly bad, or indeed that she 
is worse than young ladies in general. I only abused 
her because there was an insinuation in what you said, 
that I was going to amuse myself with Miss Demolines 
in the absence of Miss Dale. The one thing has noth- 
ing to do with the other thing. Nothing that I shall 
say to Miss Demolines will at all militate against my 
loyalty to Lily." 

" All right, old fellow ; — I did n't mean to put you 
on your purgation. I want you to look at that sketch. 
Do you know for whom it is intended ? " Johnny took 
up a scrap of paper, and having scrutinised it for a 
minute or two declared that he had not the slightest 
idea who was represented. "You know the subject, — 
the story that is intended to be told ? " said Dalrjonple. 

" Upon my word, I don't. There 's some old fellow 
seems to be catching it over the head ; but it 's all so 
confused I can't make much of it. The woman seems 
to be uncommon angry." 

" Do you ever read your Bible ? " 



MISS MADALINA DEMOLINES. 347 

"Ah, dear! not as often as I ought to do. Ah, I 
see; it 's Sisera! I never could quite believe that 
Story. Jael might have killed Captain Sisera in his 
sleep, — for which, by-the-bye, she ought to have been 
hung, and she might possibly have done it with a 
hammer and a nail. But she could not have driven 
it through, and staked him to the ground." 

" I Ve warrant enough for putting it into a picture, 
at any rate. My Jael there is intended for Miss Van 
Siever." 

" Miss Van Siever! Well, it is like her. Has she 
sat for it ? " 

" Oh, dear, no ; not yet. I mean to get her to do 
so. There *s a strength about her which would make 
her sit the part admirably. And I fancy she would 
like to be driving a nail into a fellow's head. I think 
I shall take Musselboro for a Sisera." 

" You 're not in earnest ? " 

" He would just do for it. But of course I shan't 
ask him to sit, as my Jael would not like it. She 
would not consent to operate on so base a subject. 
So you really are going down to Guestwick ? " 

"Yes; I start to-morrow. Good-bye, old fellow. 
I *11 come and sit for Sisera if you '11 let me ; — only 
Miss Van Jael shall have a blunted nail, if you please." 

Then Johnny left the artist's room and walked across 
from Kensington to Lady Demolines' house. As he 
went he partly accused himself, and partly excused 
himself, in that matter of his love for Lily Dale. 
There were moments of his life in which he felt that he 
would willingly die for her, — ^that life was not worth 
having without her, — ^in which he went about inwardly 
reproaching fortune for having treated him so cruelly. 






34^ THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAR8ET. 

Why should she not be his ? He half believed that she 
loved him. She had almost told him so. She could 
not surely still love that other man who had treated 
her with such vile falsehood ? As he considered the 
question in all its bearings he assured himself over and 
over again that there would be now no fear of that 
rival ; — and yet he had such fears, and hated Crosbie 
almost as much as ever. It was a thousand pities, 
certainly, that the man should have been made free 
by the death of his wife. But it could hardly be that 
he should seek Lily again, or that Lily, if so sought, 
should even listen to him. But yet there he was, free 
once more, — an odious being, whom Johnny was deter- 
mined to sacrifice to his vengeance, if cause for such 
sacrifice should occiu-. And thus thinking of the real 
truth of his love, he endeavoured to excuse himself to 
himself from that charge of vagueness and lazness 
which his friend Conway Dalrymple had brought 
against him. And then again he accused himself of 
the same sin. If he had been positively in earnest, 
with downright manly earnestness, would he have al- 
lowed the thing to drag itself on with a weak imcertain 
life, as it had done for the last two or three years ? 
Lily Dale had been a dream to him in his boyhood ; 
and he had made a reality of his dream as soon as he 
had become a man. But before he had been able, as 
a man, to tell his love to the girl whom he had loved 
as a child, another man had intervened, and his prize 
had been taken from him. Then the wretched Aactor 
had thrown his treasure away, and he, John Eames, 
had been content to stoop to pick it up, — was content 
to do so now. But there was something which he felt 
to be unmanly in the constant stooping. Dalrymple 



MISS MADALINA DEMOLINES. 349 

had told him that he was like a man who is ever writ- 
ing a book and yet never writes it. He would make 
another attempt to get his book written, — an attempt 
into which he would throw all his strength and all his 
heart. He would do his very best to make Lily his 
own. But if he failed now, he would have done with 
it. It seemed to him to be below his dignity as a 
man to be always coveting a thing which he could not 
obtain. 

Johnny was informed by the boy in buttons, who 
opened the door for him at Lady Demolines', that the 
ladies were at home, and he was shown up into the 
drawing-room. Here he was allowed full ten minutes 
to explore the knicknacks on the table, and open the 
photograph book, and examine the furniture, before 
Miss Demolines made her appearance. When she did 
come, her hair was tangled more marvellously even 
than when he saw her at the dinner-party, and her 
eyes were darker, and her cheeks thinner. "I 'm 
afraid mamma won't be able to come down," said Miss 
Demolines. "She will be so sorry; but she is not 
quite well to-day. The wind is in the east, she says, 
and when she says the wind is in the east she always 
refuses to be well." 

" Then I should tell her it was in the west." 

" But it is in the east." 

"Ah, there I can't help you, Miss Demolines. I 
never know which is east, and which west ; and if I 
did, I should n't know from which point the wind 
blew." 

" At any rate mamma can't come downstairs, and 
you must excuse her. What a very nice woman 
Mrs. Dobbs Broughton is." Johnny acknowledged that 



35© THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Mrs. Dobbs Broughton was charming. "And Mr. 
Broughton is so good-natured!" Johnny again as- 
sented. " I like him of all things/' said Miss Demo- 
lines. " So do I," said Johnny ; — " I never liked any- 
body so much in my life. I suppose one is bound to 
say that kind of thing." " Oh, you ill-natured man," 
said Miss Demolines. " I suppose you think that poor 
Mr. Broughton is a little — ^just a little, — ^you know 
what I mean." 

" Not exactly," said Johnny. 

" Yes, you do ; you know very well what I mean. 
And of coiu^e he is. How can he help it ? " 

" Poor fellow, — ^no. I don't suppose he can help it, 
or he would ; — ^would n't he ? " 

" Of course Mr. Broughton had not the advantage 
of birth or much early education. All his friends 
know that, and make allowance accordingly. When 
she married him, she was aware of his deficiency, and 
made up her mind to put up with it." 

" It was very kind of her ; don't you think so? " 

" I knew Maria Clutterbuck for years before she was 
married. Of course she was very much my senior, 
but, nevertheless, we were friends. I think I was 
hardly more than twelve years old when I first began 
to correspond with Maria. She was then past twenty. 
So you see, Mr. Eames, I make no secret of my age." 
Why should you ? " 

But never mind that. Everybody knows that 
Maria Clutterbuck was very much admired. Of course 
I 'm not going to tell you or any other gentleman all 
her history." 

" I was in hopes you were." 

" Then certainly your hopes will be frustrated, Mr. 



ft 



ft 
ft 



MISS MADALINA DEMOLINES. 35 1 

Eames. But undoubtedly when she told us that she 
was going to take Dobbs Broughton, we were a little 
disappointed. Maria Clutterbuck had been used to a 
better kind of life. You understand what I mean, Mr. 
Eames ? " 

" Oh, exactly ; — and yet it 's not a bad kind of life, 
either." 

" No, no ; that is true. It has its attractions. She 
keeps her carriage, sees a good deal of company, has 
an excellent house, and goes abroad for six weeks 
every year. But you know, Mr. Eames, there is, 
perhaps, a little uncertainty about it." 

Life is always imcertain. Miss Demolines." 
You 're quizzing now, I know. But don't you 
feel now, really, that city money is always very 
chancy ? It comes and goes so quick." 

" As regards the going, I think that 's the same with 
all money," said Johnny. 

" Not with land, or the funds. Mamma has every 
shilling laid out in a first-class mortgage on land at 
four per cent. That does make one feel so secure! 
The land can't run away." 

" But you think poor Broughton's money may ? " 

" It 's all speculation, you know. I don't believe 
she minds it ; I don't, indeed. She lives that kind of 
fevered life now that she likes excitement. Of course 
we all know that Mr. Dobbs Broughton is not what 
we can call an educated gentleman. His manners 
are against him, and he is very ignorant. Even dear 
Maria would admit that." 

" One would perhaps let that pass without asking 
her opinion at all." 

She has acknowledged it to me, twenty times. 



It 



353 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

But he is very good-natured, and lets her do pretty 
nearly anything that she likes. I only hope she won't 
trespass on his good-nature* I do, indeed." 

" You mean, spend too much money ? " 

" No ; I did n't mean that exactly. Of course she 
ought to be moderate, and I hope she is. To that 
kind of fevered existence profuse expenditure is per- 
haps necessary. But I was thinking of something else. 
I fear she is a little giddy." 

'' Dear me! I should have thought she was too— 
too — ^too " 

"You mean too old for an3rthing of that kind. 
Maria Broughton must be thirty-three if she 's a 
day." 

"That would make you just twenty-five," said 
Johnny, feeling perfectly sure as he said so tliat the 
lady whom he was addressing was at any rate past 
thirty! 

" Never mind my age, Mr. Eames ; whether I am 
twenty-five, or a hundred-and-five, has nothing to do 
with poor Maria Clutterbuck. But now I '11 tell you 
why I mention all this to you. You must have seen 
how foolish she is about your friend Mr. Dalrymple ? " 
Upon my word, I have n't." 
Nonsense, Mr. Eames; you have. If she were 
your wife, would you like her to call a man Conway ? 
Of course you would not. I don't mean to say that 
there 's anything in it. I know Maria's principles too 
well to suspect that. It *s merely because she 's flighty 
and fevered." 

• " That fevered existence accounts for it all," said 
Johnny. 

" No doubt it does," said Miss Demolines, with a 



ft 



it 



MISS MADAUNA DEMOLINES. 353 

nod of her head, which was intended to show that she 
was willing to give her friend the full benefit of any 
excuse which could be offered for her. "But don't 
you think you could do something, Mr. Eames ? " 

I do something?'' 

Yes, you. You and Mr. Dalrymple are such 
friends! If you were just to point out to him, you 

know " 

" Point out what? Tell him that he ought n't to be 
called Conway? Because, after all, I suppose that 's 
the worst of it. If you mean to say that Dalrymple is 
in love with Mrs. Broughton, you never made ^ greater 
mistake in your life." 

" Oh, no ; not in love. That would be terrible, ybu 
know." And Miss Demolines shook her head sadly. 
" But there may be so much mischief done without 
anything of that kind! Thoughtlessness, you know, 
Mr. £ames, — pure thoughtlessness! Think of what I 
have said, and if you can speak a word to your friend, 
do. And now I want to ask you something else. I 'm 
so glad you 're come, because circumstances have 
seemed to make it necessary that you and I should 
know each other. We may be of so much use if we 
put our heads together." Johnny bowed when he 
heard this, but made no immediate reply. " Have you 
heard anything about a certain picture that is being 
planned?" Johnny did not wish to answer this ques- 
tion, but Miss Demolines paused so long, and looked 
so earnestly into his face, that he found himself forced 
to say something. 

What picture? " 

A certain picture that is — or, perhaps, that is not 
to be, painted by Mr. Dalrymple? " 

VOL I. — 23 



it 
it 



354 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" I hear so much about Dalrymple's pictures! You 
don't mean the portrait of Lady Glencora Palliser? 
That is nearly finished, and will be in the Exhibition 
this year." 

" I don't mean that at all. I mean a picture that 
has not yet been begun." 

" A portrait, I suppose? " 

" As to that I cannot quite say. It is at any rate 
to be a likeness. I am sure you have heard of it. 
Come, Mr. Eames ; it would be better that we should 
be candid with each other. You remember Miss Van 
Siever, of course? " 

" I remember that she dined at the Broughtons'." 

"And you have heard of Jael, I suppose, and 
Sisera? " 

" Yes, in a general way, — in the Bible." 

" And now will you tell me whether you have not 
heard the names of Jael and Miss Van Siever coupled 
together? I see you know all about it." 

" I have heard of it, certainly." 

" Of course you have. So have I, as you perceive. 
Now, Mr. Eames," — and Miss Demolines' voice 
became tremulously eager as she addressed him, — " it 
is your duty, and it is my duty, to take care that that>. 
pictiffe shall never be painted." 

'* But why should it not be painted? " 
You don't know Miss Van Siever, yet? " 
Not in the least." 



" Nor Mrs. Van Siever? " 

" I never spoke a word to her." 



I do. I know them both, — well." There was 
something almost grandly tragic in Miss Demolines* 
voice as she thus spoke. " Yes, Mr. Eames, I know 



MISS MADALINA D£MOLIN£S. 355 

them well. If that scheme be continued, it will work 
terrible mischief. You and I must prevent it." 

" But I don't see what harm it will do." 

"Think of Conway Dalrymple passing so many 
hours in Maria's sitting-room upstairs! The picture 
is to be painted there, you know." 

" But Miss Van Siever will be present. Won't that 
make it all right ? What is there wrong about Miss 
Van Siever ? " 

" I won't deny that Clara Van Siever has a certain 
beauty of her own. To me she is certainly the most 
unattractive woman that I ever came near. She is 
simply repulsive!" Hereupon Miss Demolines held 
up her hand as though she were banishing Miss Van 
Siever for ever from her sight, and shuddered slightly. 
" Men think her handsome, and she is handsome. But 
she is false, covetous, malicious, cruel, and dishonest." 

" What a fiend in petticoats! " 

"You may say that, Mr. Eames. And then her 
mother! Her mother is not so bad. Her mother is 
very different. But the mother is an odious woman, 
too. It was an evil day for Maria Clutterbuck when 
she first saw either the mother or the daughter. I tell 
you that in confidence." 

" But what can I do ? " said Johnny, who began to 
be startled and almost interested by the eagerness of 
the woman. 

" I '11 tell you what you can do. Don't let your 
friend go to Mr. Broughton's house to paint the pic- 
ture. If he does do it, there will mischief come of it. 
Of course you can prevent him." 

" I should not think of trying to prevent him unless 
I knew why." 



356 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAR8ET. 

" She is a nasty proud minx, and it would set her up 
ever so high, — to think that she was being painted by 
Mr. Dabymplet But that is n't the reason. Maria 
would get into terrible trouble about it, and there would 
be no end of mischief. I must not tell you more now, 
and if you do not believe me, I cannot help it Surely, 
Mr. Eames, my word may be taken as going for some- 
thing ? And when I ask you to help me in this, I do 
cjxpect that you will not refuse me." By this time Miss 
Demolines was sitting close to him, and had more than 
once put her hand upon his arm in the energy of her 
eloquence. Then as he remembered that he had never 
seen Miss Demolines till the other day, or Miss Van 
Siever, or even Mrs. Dobbs Broughton, he bethought 
himself that it was all very droll. Nevertheless he had 
no objection to Miss Demolines putting her hand upon 
his arm. 

" I never like to interfere in anything that does not 
seem to be my own business," said Johnny. 

" Is not your friend's business your own business? 
What does friendship mean if it is not so? And when 
I tell you that it is my business, mine of right, does 
that go for nothing with you ? I thought I might 
depend upon you, Mr. Eames ; I did indeed." Then 
again she put her hand upon his arm, and as he looked 
into her eyes he began to think that after all she was 
good-looking in a certain way. At any rate she had 
fine eyes, and there was something picturesque about 
the entanglement of her hair. " Think of it, and then 
come back and talk to me again," said Miss Demolines. 

" But I am going out of town to-morrow." 

"For how long?" 
For ten days." 



t( 



MISS MADALINA DEMOLINES. 357 

"Nothing can be done during that time. Clara 
Van Siever is going away in a day, and will not be 
back for three weeks. I happen to know that ; so we 
have plenty of time for working. It would be very 
desirable that she should never even hear of it ; but 
that cannot be hoped, as Maria has such a tongue! 
Could n't you see Mr. Dalrymple to-night ? " 

" Well, no ; I don't think I could." 

" Mind, at least, that you come to me as soon as 
ever you return." 

Before he got out of the house, which he did after a 
most affectionate farewell, Johnny felt himself com- 
pelled to promise that he would come to Miss Demo- 
lines again as soon as he got back to town ; and as the 
door was closed behind him by the boy in buttons, he 
made up his mind that he certainly would call as soon 
as he returned to London. " It 's as good as a play," 
he said to himself. Not that he cared in the least for 
Miss Demolines, or that he would take any steps with 
the intention of preventing the painting of the picture. 
Miss Demolines had some battle to fight, and he would 
leave her to fight it with her own weapons. If his 
friend chose to paint a picture of Jael, and take Miss 
Van Siever as a model, it was no business of his. 
Nevertheless he would certainly go and see Miss 
Demolines again, because, as he said, she was as good 
as a play. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 



THE PICTURE. 



On that same afternoon Conway Dalrymple rolled 
up his sketch of Jael and Sisera, put it into his pocket, 
dressed himself with some considerable care, putting 
on a velvet coat which he was in the habit of wearing 
out-of-doors when he did not intend to wander beyond 
Kensington Gardens and the neighbourhood, and which 
was supposed to become him well, yellow gloves, and 
a certain Spanish hat of which he was fond, and slowly 
sauntered across to the house of his friend Mrs. Dobbs 
Broughton. When the door was opened to him he did 
not ask if the lady were at home, but muttering some 
word to the servant, made his way through the hall, 
upstairs, to a certain small sitting-room looking to the 
north, which was much used by the mistress of the 
house. It was quite clear that Conway Dalrymple had 
arranged his visit beforehand, and that he was expected. 
He opened the door without knocking, and, though 
the servant had followed him, he entered without being 
announced. " I 'm afraid I 'm late," he said, as he 
gave his hand to Mrs. Broughton ; " but for the life of 
me I could not get away sooner." 

"You are quite in time," said the lady, "for any 
good that you are likely to do." 

3S8 



THE PICTURE; 359 



** What does this mean ? " 

" It means this, my friend, that you had better give 
the idea up. I have been thinking of it all day, and 
I do not approve of it" 

"What nonsense!" 

" Of course you will say so, Conway. I have ob- 
served of late that whatever I say to you is called 
nonsense. I suppose it is the new fashion that gentle- 
men should so express themselves, but I am not quite 
sure that I like it." 

"You know what I mean. I am very anxious 
about this picture, and I shall be much disappointed 
if it cannot be done now. It was you put it into my 
head first." 

" I regret it very much, I can assure you ; but it 
will not be generous in you to urge that against me." 
But why should n't it succeed ? " 
There are many reasons, — some personal to 
myself." 

" I do not know what they can be. You hinted at 
something which I only took as having been said in 
joke." 

"If you mean about Miss Van Siever and yourself, 
I was quite in earnest, G^nway. I do not think you 
could do better, and I should be glad to see it of all 
things. Nothing would please me more than to bring 
Miss Van Siever and you together." 

" And nothing would please me less." 
But why so ? " 

Because, — ^because I can do nothing but 

tell you the truth, carina ; because my heart is not free 
to present itself at Miss Van Siever's feet." 

" It ought to be free, Conway, and you must make 



4t 



ft 
it 



tt 
tt 



366 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF 6ARSET. 

it free. It will be well that you should be married, 
And well for others besides yourself. I teU you so as 
your friend, and you have no truer friend. Sit where 
you are, if you please. You can say anything you 
have to say without stalking about the room." 
" I was not going to stalk, — as you call it." 
" You will be safer and quieter while you are sitting. 
I heard a knock at the door, and I do tiot doubt that 
it is data. She said she would be here." 
And you have told her of the picture ? " 
Yes ; I have told her. She said that it would be 
impossible, and that her mother would not allow it. 
Here she is." Then Miss Van Siever was shown into 
the room, and Dalrymple perceived that she was a girl 
the peculiarity of whose complexion bore daylight 
better even than candlelight. There was something 
in her countenance which seemed to declare that she 
could bear any light to which it Uiight be subjected 
without flinching from it. And her bonnet, which was 
very plain, and her simple brown morning gown, suited 
her well. She was one whb required none of the cir- 
cumstances of studied dress to carry off aught in her 
own appearance. She could look her best when other 
women look their worst, and could dare to be seen at 
all times. Dalrymple, with an artist's eye, saw this at 
once, and immediately confessed to himself that there 
was something great about her. He could not deny 
her beauty. But there was ever present to him that 
look of hardness which had struck him when he first 
saw her. He could not but fancy that though at times 
she might be playful, and allow the fur of her coat 
to be stroked with good-humour, — she would be a 
dahgerous playthings using her claws unpleasantly 



tHfe PICTURE. 361 

when the good-humour should have passed away. 
But not the less was she beautiful, and, — ^beyond that 
and better than that, for his purpose, — she was pic- 
turesque. 

"Clara," said Mrs. Broughton, "here is this mad 
painter, and he says that he will have you on his 
canvas, either with your will or without it." 

" Even if he could do that, I am sure he would not," 
said Miss Van Siever. 

" To prove to you that I can, I think I need only 
show you the sketch," said Dalrymple, taking the 
drawing out of his pocket. " As regards the face, I 
know it so well by heart already, that I feel certain I 
could produce a likeness without eveh a sitting. What 
do you think of it, Mrs. Broughton ? " 

" It is clever," said she, looking at it with all that 
enthusiasm which women are able to throw into their 
eyes on such occasions ; " very clever. The subject 
would just suit her. I have never doubted that." 
£ames says that it is confused," said the artist. 
I don't see that at all," said Mrs. Broughton. 

" Of course a sketch must be rough. This one has 
been rubbed about and altered — but I think there is 
something in it." 

" An immense deal," said Mrs. Broughton. " Don't 
you think so, Clara? " 

" I am not a judge." 

" But you can see the woman's fixed purpose ; and 
her stealthiness as well ; — and the man sleeps like a 
log. What is that dim outline? " 

" Nothing in particular," said Dalrymple. But the 
dim outline was intended to represent Mrs. Van Siever. 
It is very good, — unquestionably good," said Mrs. 






ti 



302 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Dobbs Broughton. " I do not for a moment doubt 
that you would make a great picture of it. It is just 
the subject for you, Conway; so much imagination, 
and yet such a scope for portraiture. It would be full 
of action, and yet such perfect repose. And the lights 
and shadows would be exactly in your line. I can see 
at a glance how you would manage the light in the 
tent, and bring it down just on the nail. And then the 
pose of the woman would be so good, so much strength, 
and yet such grace! You should have the bowl he 
drank the milk out of, so as to tell the whole story. 
No painter living tells a story so well as you do, Con- 
way." Conway Dalrymple knew that the woman was 
talking nonsense to him, and yet he liked it, and liked 
her for talking it. 

'' But Mr. Dalrymple can paint his Sisera without 
making me a Jael," said Miss Van Siever. 
Of course he can," said Mrs. Broughton. 
But I never will," said the artist. " I conceived 
the subject as connected with you, and I will never 
disjoin the two ideas." 

'' I think it no compliment, I can assure you," said 
Miss Van Siever. 

"And none was intended. But you may observe 
that artists in all ages have sought for higher types of 
models in painting women who have been violent or 
criminal, than have sufficed for them in their portrait- 
lures of gentleness and virtue. Look at all the Judiths, 
and the Lucretias, and the Charlotte Cordays ; how 
much finer the women are than the Madonnas and the 
Saint Cecilias." 

" After that, Clara, you need not scruple to be a 
Jael," said Mrs. Broughton. 



it 



ft 
<( 



(€ 
t( 



THE PICTURE. 363 

" But I do scruple, — ^very much ; so strongly that I 
know I never shall do it. In the first place I don't 
know why Mr. Dalrymple wants it." 

" Want it ! " said Conway. " I want to paint a 
striking picture." 

But you can do that without putting me into it." 
No ; — ^not this picture. And why should you ob- 
ject ? It is the commonest thing in the world for ladies 
to sit to artists in that manner." 
People would know it." 

Nobody would know it, so that you need care 
about It. What would it matter if everybody knew it ? 
We are not proposing anything improper; — are we, 
Mrs. Broughton?" 

" She shall not be pressed if she does not like it," 
said Mrs. Broughton. " You know I told you before 
Clara came in that I was afraid it could not be done." 

" And I don't like it," said Miss Van Siever, with 
some little hesitation in her voice. 

" I don't see anything improper in it, if you mean 
that," said Mrs. Broughton. 

"But mamma!" 

" Well, yes ; that is the difl5culty, no doubt. The 
only question is, whether your mother is not so very 
singular as to make it impossible that you should 
comply with her in everything." 

" I am afraid that I do not comply with her in very 
much," said Miss Van Siever, in her gentlest voice. 

'*0h, Clara!" 

" You drive me to say so, as otherwise I should be 
a hypocrite. Of course I ought not to have said it 
before Mr. Dalrymple." 

*' You and Mr. Dalrymple will understand all about 



364 '^^^ I^S*^ CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

that, I dare say, before the picture is finished," said 
Mrs. Broughton. 

It did not take much persuasion on the part of 
Conway Dahymple to get the consent of the younger 
lady to be painted, or of the elder to allow the sitting 
to go on in her room. When the question of esisels 
and other apparatus came to be considered Mrs. 
Broughton was rather flustered, and again declared 
with energy that the whole thing must fall to the 
ground; but a few more words from the painter 
restored her, and at last the arrangements were made. 
As Mrs. Dobbs Broughton's dear friend, Madalina 
Demolines, had said, Mrs. Dobbs Broughton liked a 
fevered existence. " What will Dobbs say ? " she ex- 
claimed more than once. And it was decided that 
Dobbs at last should know noting about it as long as 
it could be kept from him. " Of course he shall be 
told at last," said his wife. '* I would n't keep any- 
thing from the dear fellow for all the world. But if he 
knew it at first it would be sure to get through Mussel- 
boro to your mother." 

" I certainly shall beg that Mr. Broughton may not 
be taken into confidence if Mr. Musselboro is to fol- 
low," said Clara. " And it must be understood that 
I must cease to sit immediately, whatever may be the 
inconvenience, should mamma speak to me about it" 

This stipulation was made and conceded, and then 
Miss Van Siever went away, leaving the artist with 
Mrs. Dobbs Broughton. "And now, if you please, 
Conway, you had better go too," said the lady, as soon 
as there had been time for Miss Van Siever to get 
downstairs and out of the hall-door. 

" Of course you are in a hurry to get rid of me,** 



THE PICTURE. 365 

^'Yes, I am/' 

" A little while ago I improperly said that some sug- 
gestion of yours was nonsense, and you rebuked me for 
my blunt incivility. Might not I rebuke you now with 
equal justice ? " 

"Do so, if you will; — fcut leave me. I tell you, 
Conway, that in these matters you must eidier be 
guided by me, or you and I must cease to see each 
other. It does not do that you should remain here 
with me longer than the time usually allowed for a 
morning call. Clara has come and gone, and you also 
must go, I am sorry to disturb you, for you seem to 
be so very comfortable in that chair." 

"I am comfortable, — and I can look at you. 
Come ; — ihert can be no harm in saying that, if I say 
nothing else. Well ;— Tthere, now I am gone." 
Whereupon he got up frcwn his arm-chair. 

" But you are not gone while you stand there." 

" And you would really wish me to marry that girl ? " 

" I do, — ^if you can love her." 

" And what about her love ? " 

"You must win it, of course. She is to be won, 
like any other woman. The fruit won't fall into your 
mouth merely because you open your lips. You must 
climb the tree." 

" Still climbing trees in the Hesperides," said Con- 
way. " Love does that, you know ; but it is hard to 
climb the trees without the love. It seems to me that 
I have done my climbing, — have clomb as high as I 
knew how, and that the boughs are breaking with me, 
and that I am likely to get a fall. Do you understand 
me?" 

" I would rather not understand you." 



366 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" That is no answer to my question. Do you un* 
derstand that at this moment I am getting a fall which 
will break every bone in my skin and put any other 
climbing out of the question as far as I am concerned? 
Do you understand that ? " 

" No ; I do not/' said Mrs. Lroughton in a tremu- 
lous voice. 

" Then I '11 go and make love at once to Clara Van 
Siever. There 's enough of pluck left in me to ask her 
to marry me, and I suppose I could manage to go 
through the ceremony if she accepy^d me." 

"But I want you to love her," said Mrs. Dobbs 
Broughton. 

" I dare say I should lov« her well enough after a 
bit ; — ^that is, if she did n't break my head or comb 
my hair. I suppose there will be no objection to my 
saying that you sent me when I ask her ? " 

" Conway, you will of course not mention my name 
to her. I have suggested to you a marriage which I 
think would tend to make you happy, and would give 
you a stability in life which you want. It is perhaps 
better that I should be explicit at once. As an un- 
married man I cannot continue to know you. You 
have said words of late which have driven me to this 
conclusion. I have thought about it much, — ^too much, 
perhaps, and I know that I am right. Miss Van Siever 
has beauty, and wealth, and intellect, and I think that 
she would appreciate the love of such a man as you 
are. Now go." And Mrs. Dobbs Broughton, stand- 
ing upright, pointed to the door. Conway Dahymple 
slowly took his Spanish hat from o£F the marble slab on 
which he had laid it, and left the room without saying 
a word. The intennew had been quite long enough, 



THE PICTURE. 367 

and there was nothing else which he knew how to say 
with eflEect. 

Croquet is a pretty game out-of-doors, and chess is 
delightful in a drawing-room. Battledore and shuttle- 
cock and hunt the slipper have also their attractions. 
Proverbs are good, and cross-questions with crooked 
answers may be made very amusing. But none of 
these games are equal to the game of love-making, — 
providing that the players can be quite sure that there 
shall be no heart in the matter. Any touch of heart 
not only destroys the pleasiffe of the game, but makes 
the player awkward and incapable and robs him of his 
skill. And thus it is that there are many people who 
cannot play the game at all. A deficiency of some 
needed internal physical strength prevents the owners 
of the heart from keeping a proper control over its 
valves, and thus emotion sets in, and the pulses are 
accelerated, and feeling supervenes. For such a one 
to attempt a game of love-making, is as though your 
friend with the gout should insist on playing croquet. 
A sense of the ridiculous, if nothing else, should in 
either case deter the afflicted one from the attempt. 
There was no such absurdity with our friend Mrs. 
Dobbs Broughton and Conway Dalrjrmple. Their 
valves and pulses were all right. They could play the 
game without the slightest danger of any inconvenient 
result ; — of any inconvenient result, that is, as regarded 
their own feelings. Blind people cannot see and stupid 
people cannot understand, — and it might be that Mr. 
Dobbs Broughton, being both blind and stupid in such 
matters, might perceive something of the playing of 
the game and not know that it was only a game of 
skill. 



368 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

When I say that as regarded these two lovers there 
was nothing of love between them, and that tlje game 
was tha-efore so far innocent, I would not be under- 
stood as asserting that these people had no hearts within 
their bosoms. Mrs. Dobbs Broughton probably loved 
her husband in a sensible, humdrum way, feehng him 
to be a bore, knowing him to be vulgar, aw^re that he 
often took a good deal more wine than was good for 
him, and that he was almost as uneducated as a hog. 
Yet she loved him, and showed her love by taking care 
that he should have things for dinner which he hked to 
eat. But in thig aione there were to be found none of 
the charms of a fevered existence,, and therefore Mrs. 
Dobbs Broughton, requiring those charms for her com- 
fort, played her httle game with Conway Dalrymple. 
And as regarded the artist himself, let no read^ pre- 
sume him to have been heartless because he flirted with 
Mrs. Dobbs Broughton. Doubtless he will marry 
some day, will have a large family for which he will 
work hard, and will make a good husband to some 
stout lady who will be careful in looking after his linen. 
But on the present occasion he fell into some slight 
trouble in spite of the innocence of his game. As 
he quitted his friend's room he heard the hall-door 
slammed heavily ; then there was a quick step on the 
stairs, and on the landing-place above the first flight he 
met the master of the house, somewhat flurried, as it 
seemed, and not looking comfortable, either as regarded 
his person or his temper. "By George, he *s been 
drinking!" Conway said to himself, after the first 
glance. Now it certainly was the case that poor 
Dobbs Broughton would sometimes drink at improper 
hours. 



THE PICTURE. 369 

" What the devil are you doing here ? " said Dobbs 
Broughton to his friend the artist. *' You *re always 
here. You 're here a doosed sight more than I like." 
Husbands when they have been drinking are very apt 
to make mistakes as to the purport of the game. 

" Why, Dobbs," said the painter, " there 's something 
wrong with you." 

" No, there ain't. There 's nothing wrong ; and if 
there was, what 's that to you ? I shan't ask you to 
pay anything for me, I suppose." 

"Well;— I hope not." 

" I won't have you here, and let that be an end of 
it. It 's all very well when I choose to have a few 
friends to dinner, but my wife can do very well without 
your fal-laUing here all day. Will you remember that, 
if you please ? " 

Conway Dalrymple, knowing that he had better not 
argue any question with a drunken man, took himself 
out of the house, shrugging his shoulders as he thought 
of the misery which his poor dear playfellow would 
now be called upon to endure. 



VOL. I.— 24 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

A HERO AT HOME. 

On the morning after his visit to Miss Demolines 
John Eames found himself at the Paddington station 
asking for a ticket for Guestwick, and as he picked up 
his change another gentleman also demanded a ticket 
for the same place. Had Guestwick been at Liverpool 
or Manchester, Eames would have thought nothing 
about it. It is a matter of course that men should 
always be going from London to Liverpool and Man- 
chester ; but it seemed odd to him that two men should 
want first-class tickets for so small a place as Guest- 
wick at the same moment. And when, afterwards, he 
was placed by the guard in the same carriage with this 
other traveller, he could not but feel some little curios- 
ity. The man was four or five years Johnny's senior, 
a good-looking fellow, with a pleasant face, and the 
outward appurtenances of a gentleman. The intelli- 
gent reader will no doubt be aware that the stranger 
was Major Grantly ; but the intelligent reader has in 
this respect had much advantage over John Eames, 
who up to this time had never even heard of his cousin 
Grace Crawley's lover. " I think you were asking for 
a ticket for Guestwick ? " said Johnny ; whereupon the 
major owned that such was the case. "I lived at 
Guestwick the greater part of my lifje," said Johnny, 

370 



A HERO AT HOME. 371 

*' and it 's the dullest, dearest little town in all Eng- 
land." " I never was there before," said the major, 
*' and indeed I can hardly say I am going there now. 
I shall only pass through it." Then he got out his 
newspaper, and Johnny also got out his, and for a time 
there was no conversation between them. John re- 
membered how holy was the errand upon which he 
was intent, and gathered his thoughts together, resolv- 
ing that having so great a matter on his mind he would 
think about nothing else and speak about nothing at 
all. He was going down to AUington to ask Lily Dale 
for the last time whether she would be his wife ; to 
ascertain whether he was to be successful or unsuccess* 
ful in the one great wish of his life ; and, as such was 
the case with him, — as he had in hand a thing so 
vital, it could be nothing to him whether the chance 
companion of his voyage was an agreeable or a dis- 
agreeable person. He himself, in any of the ordinary 
circumstances of life, was prone enough to talk with 
any one he might meet. He could have travelled for 
twelve hours together with an old lady, and could listen 
to her or make her listen to him without half an hour's 
interruption. But this joimiey was made on no ordi- 
nary occasion, and it behoved him to think of Lily. 
Therefore, after, the first little almost necessary effort 
at civility, he fell back into gloomy silence. He was 
going to do his best to win Lily Dale, and this doing 
of his best would require all his thought and all his 
energy. 

And probably Major Grantly's mind was bent in the 
same direction. He, too, had his work before him, 
and could not look upon his work as a thing that was 
altogether pleasant. He might probably get that which 



372 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BAR&ET. 

he was intent upon obtaining. He knew, — he afanost 
knew, — ^that he had won the heart of the girl whom he 
was seeking. There had been that between him and 
her which justified him in supposing that he was dear 
to her, although no expression of affection had ever 
passed from her lips to his ears. Men may know all 
that they require to know on that subject without any 
plainly spoken words. Grace Crawley had spoken no 
word, and yet he had known, — at any rate had not 
doubted, that he could have the place in her heart of 
which he desired to be the master. She would never 
surrender herself altogether till she had taught herself 
to be sure of him to whom she gave herself. But she 
had listened to him with silence that had not rebuked 
him, and he had told himself that he might venture, 
without fear of that rebuke as to which the minds of 
some men are sensitive to a degree which other men 
cannot even understand. But for all this Major 
Grantly could not be altogether happy as to his mis- 
sion. He would ask Grace Crawley to be his wife ; 
but he would be ruined by his own success. And the 
remembrance that he would be severed from all his 
own family by the thing that he was doing, was very 
bitter to him. In generosity he might be silent about 
this to Grace, but who can endure to be silent on such 
a subject to the woman who is to be his wife? And 
then it would not be possible for him to abstain from 
explanation. He was now following her down to 
Allington, a step which he certainly would not have 
taken but for the misfortune which had befallen her 
father, and he must explain to her in some sort why he 
did so. He must say to her, — ^if not in so many words, 
still almost as plainly as words could speak, — I am 



A HERO AT HOME. 373 

here now to ask you to be my wife, because you spe- 
cially require the protection and countenance of the 
man who loves you, in the present circumstances of 
your father's affairs. He knew that he was doing 
right; — ^perhaps had some idea that he was doing 
nobly; but this very appreciation of his own good 
qualities made the task before him the more difficult. 

Major Grantly had the Times, and John Eames had 
the Daily News, and they exchanged papers. One 
had the last Saturday, and the other the last Spectator, 
and they exchanged those also. Then at last when 
they were within half-an hour of the end of their jour- 
ney, Major Grantly asked his companion what was the 
best inn at Guestwick. He had at first been minded to 
go on to Allington at once, — ^to go on to AUington and 
get his work done, and then return home or remain 
there, or find the nearest inn with a decent bed, as cir- 
cumstances might direct him. But on reconsideration, 
as he drew nearer to the scene of his future operations, 
he thought that it might be well for him to remain that 
night at Guestwick. He did not quite know how far 
Allington was from Guestwick, but he did know that 
it was still mid-winter, and that the days were very 
short. The Magpie was the best inn, Johnny said. 
Having lived at Guestwick all his life, and having a 
mother living there now, he had never himself put 
up at the Magpie, but he believed it to be a good 
country inn. They kept post-horses there, he knew. 
He did not tell the stranger that his late old friend 
Lord De Guest, and his present old friend. Lady Julia, 
always hired post-horses from the Magpie, but he 
grounded his ready assertion on the remembrance of 
that fact. 



374 I'HE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" I think I shall stay there to-night," said the major. 

" You 'U find it pretty comfortable, I don't doubt," 
said Johnny. " Though, indeed, it always seems to me 
that a man alone at an inn has a very bad time of it. 
Reading is all very well, but one gets tired of it at last 
And then I hate horse-hair chairs." 

"It is n't very delightful," said the major, "but 
beggars must n't be choosers." Then there was a 
pause, after which the major spoke again. "You 
don't happen to know which way Allington lies ? " 

"Allington!" said Johnny. 

"Yes, Allington. Is there not a village called 
Allington? " 

" There is a village called Allington, certainly. It 
lies over there." And Johnny pointed with his finger 
through the window. " As you do not know the coun- 
try you can see nothing, but I can see the Allington 
trees at this moment." 

" I suppose there is no inn at Allington ? " 

"There *s a public-house, with a very nice clean 
bedroom. It is called the Red Lion. Mrs. Forrard 
keeps it. I would quite as soon stay there as at 
the Magpie. Only if they don't expect you, they 
would n't have much for dinner." 

" Then you know the village of Allington? " 

" Yes, I know the village of Allington very well. I 
have friends living there. Indeed, I may say I know 
everybody in Allington." 

Do you know Mrs. Dale ? " 
Mrs. Dale ? " said Johnny. " Yes, I know Mrs. 
Dale. I have known Mrs. Dale pretty nearly all my 
life." Who could this man be who was going down 
to see Mrs. Dale, — Mrs. Dale, and consequently, Lily 



(t 



<( 
n 



A HERO AT HOME. 375 

Dale ? He thought that he knew Mrs. Dale so well, that 
she could have no visitor of whom he would not be 
entitled to have some knowledge. But Major Grantly 
had nothing more to say at the moment about Mrs. 
Dale. He had never seen Mrs. Dale in his life, and 
was now going to her house, not to see her, but a 
friend of hers. He found that he could not very well 
explain this to a stranger, and therefore at the moment 
he said nothing further. But Johnny would not allow 
the subject to be dropped. " Have you known Mrs. 
Dale long ? " he asked. 

"I have not the pleasure of knowing her at all," 
said the major. 

I thought, perhaps, by your asking after her " 

I intend to call upon her, that is all. I suppose 
they will have an omnibus here from the Magpie ? " 
Eames said that there no doubt would be an omni- 
bus from the Magpie, and then they were at their 
journey's end. 

For the present we will follow John Eames, who 
went at once to his mother's house. It was his inten- 
tion to remain there for two or three days, and then go 
over to the house, or rather to the cottage, of his great 
ally, Lady Julia, which lay just beyond Guestwick 
Manor, and somewhat nearer to Allington than to the 
town of Guestwick. He had made up his mind that 
he would not himself go over to Allington till he could 
do so from Guestwick Cottage, as it was called, feeling 
that, under certain untoward circumstances, — should 
imtoward circumstances arise, — Lady Julia's sympathy 
might be more endurable than that of his mother. But 
he would take care that it should be known at Alling- 
ton that he was in the neighbourhood. He understood 



376 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

tiie necessary stra ^ of his campaign too weD. to sup- 
pose that he could startl .y into acquiescence. 

With his own mother and sister John Eames was in 
these days quite a hero. He was a hero with them 
now, because in his early boyish days there had been 
so little about him that was heroic. Then there had 
been a doubt whether ho would ever earn his daily 
bread, and he had been a very heavy burden on the 
slight family resources in the matter of jackets and 
trousers. The pride taken in our Johnny had not been 
great, though the love felt for him had been warm. 
But gradually things had changed, and John Eames 
had become heroic in his mother's eyes. A chance 
circumstance had endeared him to Earl De Guest, and 
from that moment things had gone well with him. 
The earl had given him a watch and had left him a 
fortune, and Sir Raffle Buffle had made him a private 
secretary. In the old days, when Johnny's love for 
Lily Dale was first discussed by his mother and sister, 
they had thought it impossible that Lily should ever 
bring herself to regard with affection so humble a 
suitor; — ^for the Dales had ever held their heads up in 
the world. But now there is no misgiving on that 
score with Mrs. Eames and her daughter. Their 
wonder is that Lily Dale should be such a fool as to 
decline the love of such a man. So Johnny was re- 
ceived with the respect due to a hero, as well as with 
the affection belonging to a son ; — ^by which I mean it 
to be inferred that Mrs. Eames had got a little bit of 
fish for dinner as well as a leg of mutton. 

*'A man came down in the train with me who 
says he is going over to Allington," said Johnny. 



It 



A HERO AT HOME. 377 

"I wonder who he can be. He is staying at the 
Magpie." 

" A friend of Captain Dale's, probably," said Mary. 
Captain Dale was the squire's nephew and his heir. 

" But this man was not going to the squire's. He 
was going to the Small House." 
Is he going to stay there ? " 
I suppose not, as he asked about the inn." Then 
Johnny reflected that the man might probably be a 
friend of Crosbie's, and became melancholy in conse- 
quence. Crosbie might have thought it expedient to 
send an ambassador down to prepare the ground for 
him before he should venture again upon the scene 
himself. If it were so, would it not be well that he, 
John Eames, should get over to Lily as soon as possi- 
ble, and not wait till he should be staying with Lady 
Julia? 

It was at any rate incumbent upon him to call upon 
Lady Julia the next morning, because of his commis- 
sion. The Berlin wool might remain in his portman- 
teau till his portmanteau should go with him to the 
cottage; but he would take the spectacles at once, 
and he must explain to Lady Julia what the lawytrrs 
had told him about the income. So he hired a saddle- 
horse from the Magpie and started after breakfast on 
the morning after his arrival. In his unheroic days 
he would have walked, — as he had done, scores of 
times, over the whole distance from Guestwick to 
AUington. But now in these grander days, he thought 
about his boots and the mud, and the formal appear- 
ance of the thing. "Ah dear!" he said to himself, aa 
the nag walked slowly out of the town, " it used to be 



378 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

better with me in the old days. I hardly hoped that 
she would ever accept me, but at least she had never 
refused me. And then that brute had not as yet made 
his way down to AUington!" 

He did not go very fast. After leaving the town he 
trotted on for a mile or so. But when he got to the 
palings of Guestwick Manor he let the animal walk 
again, and his mind ran back over the incidents of 
his life which were connected with the place. He re- 
membered a certain long ramble which he had taken 
in those woods after Lily had refused him. That had 
been subsequent to the Crosbie episode in his life, and 
Johnny had been led to hope by certain of his friends, 
— especially by Lord De Guest and his sister, — ^that 
he might then be successful. But he had been unsuc- 
cessful, and had passed the bitterest hour of his life 
wandering about in those woods. Since that he had 
been unsuccessful again and again ; but the bitterness 
of failure had not been so strong with him as on that 
first occasion. He would try again now, and if he 
failed, he would fail for the last time. As he was 
thinking of all this, a gig overtook him on the road, 
and on looking round he saw that the occupant of the 
gig was the man who had travelled witli him on the 
previous day in the train. Major Grantly was alone 
in the gig, and as he recognised John Eames he 
stopped his horse. " Are you also going to AUington ? " 
he asked. John Eafiaes, with something of scorn in 
his voice, replied that he had no intention of going to 
AUington on that day. He still thought that this man 
might be an emissary from Crosbie, and therefore re- 
solved that but scant courtesy was due to him. " I 
am on my way there now," said Grantly, "and am 



A HERO AT HOME. 379 

going to the house of yoiir friend. May I tell her that 
I travelled with you yesterday ? " 

" Yes, sir," said Johnny. " You may tell her that 
you came down with John Eames." 

" And are you John Eames ? " asked the major. 

** If you have no objection," said Johnny. " But I 
can hardly suppose you have ever heard my name 
before ? " 

" It is familiar to me, because I have the pleasure of 
knowing a cousin of yours. Miss Grace Crawley." 

" My cousin is at present staying at Allington with 
Mrs. Dale," said Johnny. 

'* Just so," said the major, who now began to reflect 
that he had been indiscreet in mentioning Grace 
Crawley's name. No doubt every one connected with 
the family, all the Crawleys, all the Dales, and all the 
Eameses would soon know the business which had 
brought him down to Allington ; but he need not have 
taken the trouble of beginning the story against him- 
self. John Eames, in truth, had never even heard 
Major Grantly's name, and was quite unaware of the 
fortune which awaited his cousin. Even after what he 
had now been told, he still suspected the stranger of 
being an emissary from his enemy ; but the major, not 
giving him credit for his ignorance, was annoyed with 
himself for having told so much of his own history. 
" I will tell the ladies that I had the pleasure of meet- 
ing you," he said ; '* that is, if I am lucky enough to 
see them." And then he drove on. 

" I know I should hate that fellow if I were to meet 
him anywhere again," said Johnny to himself as he 
rode on. "When I take an aversion to a fellow at first 
sight, I always stick to it. It 's instinct, I suppose." 



3^0 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BA&SET. 

And he was still giving himself credit for the strength 
of his instincts when he reached Lady Julia's cottage. 
He rode at once into the stable-yard, with the priYilege 
of an accustomed friend of the house, and having given 
up his horse, entered the cottage by the back door. 
*' Is my lady at home, Jemima? " he said to the maid. 

" Yes, Mr. John ; she is in the drawing-room, and 
friends of yours are with her." Then he was an- 
nounced, and found himself in the presence of Lady 
Julia, Lily Dale, and Grace Crawley. 

He was very warmly received. Lady Julia really 
loved him dearly, and would have done anything in 
her power to bring about a match between him and 
Lily. Grace was his cousin, and though she had not 
seen him often, she was prepared to love him dearly as 
Lily's lover. And Lily, — Lily loved him dearly too, 
— ^if only she could have brought herself to love him 
as he wished to be loved 1 To all of them Johnny 
Eames was something of a hero. At any rate in the 
eyes of all of them he possessed those virtues which 
seemed to them to justify them in petting him and 
making much of him. 

** I am so glad you Ve come, — ^that is, if you Ve 
brought my spectacles," said Lady Julia. 

" My pockets are crammed with spectacles," said 
Johnny. 

" And when are you coming to me ? " 

" I was thinking of Tuesday." 

"No; don't come till Wednesday. But I mean 
Monday. No ; Monday won't do. Come on Tues- 
day early and drive me out. And now tell us the 



news." 



Johnny swore that there was no news. He made a 



A HERO AT HOME. 38 1 

brave attempt to be gay and easy before Lily ; but he 
failed, — and he knew that he failed, — and he knew 
that she knew that he failed. "Mamma will be so 
glad to see you," said Lily. " I suppose you have n't 
seen Bell yet ? " 

"I only got to Guestwick yesterday afternoon," 
said he. 

" And it will be so nice our having Grace at the 
Small House, — ^won't it ? Uncle Christopher has 
quite taken a passion for Grace, — so that I am hardly 
anybody now in the Allington world." 

" By-the-bye," said Johnny, " I came down here with 
a friend of yours, Grace." 

" A friend of mine ? " said Grace. 

" So he says, and he is at Allington at this moment. 
He passed me in a gig going there." 

" And what is his name ? " Lily asked. 

" I have not the remotest idea," said Johnny. " He 
is a man about my own age, very good-looking, and 
apparently very well able to take care of himself. He 
is short-sighted, and holds a glass in one eye when 
he looks out of a carriage window. That 's all that I 
know about him." 

Grace Crawley's face had become suffused with 
blushes at the first mention of the friend and the gig ; 
but then Grace blushed very easily. Lily knew all 
about it at once, — at once divined who must be the 
friend in the gig, and was almost beside herself with 
joy. Lady Julia, who had heard no more of the major 
than had Johnny, was still clever enough to perceive 
that the friend must be a particular friend, — ^for she had 
noticed Miss Crawley's blushes. And Grace herself 
had no doubt as to the man. The picture of her lover, 



382 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

with the glass in his eye as he looked out of the win- 
dow, had been too perfect to admit of a doubt. In 
her distress she put out her hand and took hold of 
Lily's dress. 

" And you say he is at AUington now ? " said Lily. 

" I have no doubt he is at the Small House at this 
moment," said Johnny. 



CHAPTER XXVIIL 

SHOWING HOW MAJOR GRANTLY TOOK A WALK, 

Major Grantly drove his gig into the yard of the 
Red Lion at Allington, and from thence walked away 
at once to Mrs. Dale's house. When he reached the 
village he had hardly made up his mind as to the 
way in which he would begin his attack ; but now, as 
he went down the street, he resolved that he would first 
ask for Mrs. Dale. Most probably he would find him- 
self in the presence of Mrs. Dale and her daughter, and 
of Grace also, at his first entrance ; and if so, his posi- 
tion would be awkward enough. He almost regretted 
now that he had not written to Mrs. Dale, and asked 
for an interview. His task would be very diflScult if 
he should find all the ladies together. But he was 
strong in the feeling that when his purpose was told 
it would meet the approval at any rate of Mrs. Dale ; 
and he walked boldly on, and bravely knocked 
at the door of the Small House, as he had already 
learned that Mrs. Dale's residence was called by all 
the neighbourhood. Nobody was at home, the serv- 
ant said ; and then, when the visitor began to make 
further inquiry, the girl explained that the two young 
ladies had walked as far as Guestwick Cottage, and 
that Mrs. Dale was at this moment at the Great House 
with the squire. She had gone across soon after the 

383 



384 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

young ladies had started. The maid, however, was 
interrupted before she had finished telling all this to 
the major, by finding her mistress behind her in the 
passage. Mrs. Dale had returned, and had entered 
the house from the lawn. 

"I am here now, Jane," said Mrs. Dale, "if the 
gentleman wishes to see me." 

Then die major announced himself. " My name is 
Major Grantly," said he ; and he was blundering on 
with some words about his own intrusion, when Mrs. 
Dale begged him to follow her into the drawing-room. 
He had muttered something to the effect that Mrs. 
Dale would not know who he was; but Mrs. Dale 
knew all about him, and had heard the whole of 
Grace's story from Lily. She and Lily had often dis- 
cussed the question whether, under existing circum- 
stances. Major Grantly should feel himself bound to 
offer his hand to Grace, and the mother and daughter 
had differed somewhat on the matter. Mrs. Dale had 
held that he was not so bound, urging that the unfort- 
unate position in which Mr. Crawley was placed was 
so calamitous to all connected with him, as to justify 
any man, not absolutely engaged, in abandoning the 
thoughts of such a marriage. Mrs. Dale had spoken 
of Major Grantly*s father and mother and brother and 
sister, and had declared her opinion that they were en- 
titled to consideration. But Lily had opposed this idea 
very stoutly, asserting that in an affair of love a man 
should think neither of father or brother or mother or 
sister. " If he is worth anything," Lily had said, " he 
will come to her now, — ^now in her trouble ; and will 
tell her that she at least has got a friend who will be 
true to her. If he does that, then I shall think that 



HOW MAJOR GRANTLY TOOK A WALK. 385 

there is something of the poetry and nobleness of love 
left." In answer to this Mrs. Dale had replied that 
women had no right to expect from men such self- 
denying nobility as that. " I don't expect it, mamma," 
said Lily. " And I am sure that Grace does not. In- 
deed, I am quite sure that Grace does not expect even 
to see him ever again. She never says so, but I know 
that she has made up her mind about it. Still I think 
he ought to come." "It can hardly be that a man is 
bound to do a thing, the doing of which, as you con- 
fess, would be almost more than noble," said Mrs. 
Dale. And so the matter had been discussed between 
them. But now, as it seemed to Mrs. Dale, the man 
had come to do this noble thing. At any rate he was 
there in her drawing-room, and before, either of them 
had sat down he had contrived to mention Grace. 
"You may not probably have heard my name," he 
said, "but I am acquainted with your friend. Miss 
Crawley." 

" I know your name very well, Major Grantly. My 
brother-in-law who Hves over yonder, Mr. Dale, knows 
your father very well, — or he did some years ago. 
And I have heard him say that he remembers you." 

" I recollect. He used to be staying at Ullathome. 
But that is a long time ago. Is he at home now ? " 

" Mr. Dale is almost always at home. He very 
rarely goes away, and I am sure would be glad to see 
you." 

Then there was a little pause in the conversation. 

They had managed to seat themselves, and Mrs. Dale 

had said enough to put her visitor fairly at his ease. 

If he had anything special to say to her, he must say 

it ; — any request or proposition to make as to Grace 
VOL. I. — 25 



386 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Crawley, he must make it. And he did make it at 
once. " My object in coming to AUington," he said, 
" was to see Miss Crawley." 

" She and my daughter have taken a long walk to 
call on a friend, and I am afraid they will stay for 
lunch ; but they will certainly be home between three 
and four, if that is not too long for you to remain at 
Allington." 

" Oh dear, no," said he. " It will not hurt me to 
wait." 

"It certainly will not hurt me, Major Grantly. 
Perhaps you will lunch with me ? " 

" I '11 tell you what, Mrs. Dale ; if you '11 permit me, 
I '11 explain to you why I have come here. Indeed, 
I have intended to do so all through, and I can only 
ask you to keep my secret, if after all it should require 
to be kept." 

" I will certainly keep any secret that you may ask 
me to keep," said Mrs. Dale, taking off her bonnet. 

" I hope there may be no need of one," said Major 
Grantly. " The truth is, Mrs. Dale, that I have known 
Miss Crawley for some time, — nearly for two years 
now, and, — I may as well speak it out at once, — I 
have made up my mind to ask her to be my wife. 
That is why I am here." Considering the nature of 
the statement, which must have been embarrassing, I 
think that it was made with fluency and simplicity. 

" Of course, Major Grantly, you know that I have 
no authority with our young friend," said Mrs. Dale. 
" I mean that she is not connected with us by family 
ties. She has a father and mother, living, as I believe, 
in the same county with yourself." 

" I know that, Mrs. Dale." 



It 



HOW MAJOR GRANTLY TOOK A WALK. 387 

" And you may, perhaps, understand that, as Miss 
Crawley is now staying with me, I owe it in a measure 
to her friends to ask you whether they are aware of 
your intention." 

They are not aware of it." 

I know that at the present moment they are in 
great trouble." 

Mrs. Dale was going on, but she was interrupted by 
Major Grantly. 

" That is just it," he said. " There are circumstances 
at present which make it almost impossible that I 
should go to Mr. Crawley and ask his permission to 
address his daughter. I do not know whether you 
have heard the whole story ? " 

" As much, I believe, as Grace could tell me." 

'* He is, I believe, in such a state of mental distress 
as to be hardly capable of ^\ing me a considerate 
answer. And I should not know how to speak to 
him, or how not to speak to him, about this unfortu- 
nate affair. But, Mrs. Dale, you will, I think, perceive 
that the same circumstances make it imperative upon 
me to be explicit to Miss Crawley. I think I am the 
last man to boast of a woman's regard, but I had 
learned to think that I was not indifferent to Grace. 
If that be so, what must she think of me if I stay away 
from her now ? " 

"She understands too well the weight of the mis- 
fortune which has fallen upon her father to suppose 
that any one not connected with her can be bound to 
share it." 

" That is just it. She will think that I am silent for 
that reason. I have determined that that shall not 
keep me silent, and, therefore, I have come here. I 



388 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

may, perhaps, be able to bring comfort to her in her 
trouble. As regards my worldly position, — though, 
indeed, it will not be very good, — as hers is not good 
either, you will not think yourself bound to forbid me 
to see her on that head." 

" Certainly not. I need hardly say that I fully un- 
derstand that, as regards money, you are offering 
everything where you can get nothing." 

" And you imderstand my feeling ? " 

" Indeed I do, — and appreciate the great nobility of 
your love for Grace. You shall see her here, if you 
wish it, — ^and to-day, if you choose to wait." Major 
Grantly said that he would wait and would see Grace 
on that afternoon. Mrs. Dale again suggested that he 
should lunch with her, but this he declined. She then 
proposed that he should go across and call upon the 
squire, and thus consume his time. But to this he also 
objected. He was not exactly in the humour, he said, 
to renew so old and so slight an acquaintance at that 
time. Mr. Dale would probably have forgotten him, 
and would be sure to ask what had brought him to 
AUington. He would go and take a walk, he said, and 
come again exactly at four. Mrs. Dale again expressed 
her certainty that the young ladies would be back by 
that time, and Major Grantly left the house. 

Mrs. Dale when she was left alone could not but 
compare the good fortune which was awaiting Grace, 
with the evil fortune which had fallen on her own 
child. Here was a man who was at all points a gentle- 
man. Such, at least, was the character which Mrs. 
Dale at once conceded to him. And Grace had 
chanced to come across this man, and to please his 
eye, and satisfy his taste, and be loved by him. And 



HOW MAJOR GRANTLY TOOK A WALK. 389 

the result of that chance would be that Grace would 
have everything given to her that the world has to give 
worth acceptance. She would have a companion for 
her life whom she could trust, admire, love, and of 
whom she could be infinitely proud. Mrs. Dale was 
not at all aware whether Major Grantly might have 
five hundred a year to spend, or five thousand,— or 
what sum intermediate between the two, — nor did she 
give much of her thoughts at the moment to that side 
of the subject. She knew without thinking of it,— or 
fancied that she knew, that there were means sufficient 
for comfortable living. It was solely the nature and 
character of the man that was in her mind, and the 
sufficiency that was to be found in them for a wife's 
happiness. But her daughter, her Lily, had come 
across a man who was a scoundrel, and, as the cohse- 
quence of that meeting, all her life was marred! 
Could any credit be given to Grace for her success, 
or any blame attached to Lily for her failure ? Surely 
not the latter! How was her girl to have guarded 
herself from a love so unfortimate, or have avoided 
the rock on which her vessel had been shipwrecked ? 
Then many bitter thoughts passed through Mrs. Dale's 
mind, and she almost envied Grace Crawley her lover. 
Lily was contented to remain as she was, but Lily's 
mother could not bring herself to be satisfied that her 
child should fill a lower place in the world than other 
girls. It had ever been her idea, — an idea probably 
never absolutely uttered even to herself, but not the 
less practically conceived, — that it is the business of a 
woman to be married. That her Lily should have 
been won and not worn, had been, and would be, a 
trouble to her for ever. 



390 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

Major Grantly went back to the inn and saw his 
horse fed, and smoked a cigar, and then, finding that 
it was still only just one o'clock, he started for a walk. 
He was careful not to go out of Allington by the road 
he had entered it, as he had no wish to encounter 
Grace and her friend on their return into the village ; 
so he crossed a little brook which runs at the bottom 
of the hill on which the chief street of Allington is 
built, and turned into a field-path to the left as soon as 
he had got beyond the houses. Not knowing the 
geography of the place he did not understand that by 
taking that path he was making his way back to the 
squire's house ; but it was so ; and after sauntering on 
for about a mile and crossing back again over the 
stream, of which he took no notice, he found hin^self 
leaning across a gate, and looking into a paddock on 
the other side of which was the high wall of a gentle- 
man's garden. To avoid this he went on a little further 
and found himself on a farm road, and before he could 
retrace his steps so as not to be seen, he met a gentle- 
man whom he presumed to be the owner of the house. 
It was the squire survepng his home farm, as was his 
daily custom ; but Major Grantly had not perceived 
that the house must of necessity be Allington House, 
having been aware that he had passed the entrance to 
the place, as he entered the village on the other side. 

I 'm afraid I 'm intruding," he said, lifting his hat. 

I came up the path yonder, not knowing that it would 
lead me so close to a gentleman's house." 

" There is a right of way through the fields on to the 
Guestwick road," said the squire, " and therefore you 
are not trespassing in any sense ; but we are not par- 
ticular about such things down here, and you would be 






HOW MAJOR GRANTLY TOOK A WALK. 39 1 

very welcome if there were no right of way. If you 
are a stranger, perhaps you would like to see the out- 
side of the old house. People think it picturesque." 

Then Major Grantly became aware that this must 
be the squire, and he was annoyed with himself for his 
own awkwardness in having thus come upon the house. 
He would have wished to keep himself altogether 
unseen if it had been possible, — ^and especially unseen 
by this old gentleman, to whom, now that he had met 
him, he was almost boimd to introduce himself. But 
he was not absolutely bound to do so, and he deter- 
mined that he would still keep his peace. Even if the 
squire should afterwards hear of his having been there, 
what would it matter? But to proclaim himself at the 
present moment would be disagreeable to him. He 
permitted the squire, however, to lead him to the front 
of the house, and in a few moments was standing on 
the terrace hearing an account of the architecture of 
the mansion. 

" You can see the date still in the brickwork of one 
of the chimneys, — that is, if your eyes are very good 
you can see it, — 1617. It was completed in that year, 
and very little has been done to it since. We think 
the chimneys are pretty." 

" They are very pretty," said the major. " Indeed, 
the house altogether is as graceful as it can be." 

" Those trees are old, too," said the squire, pointing 
to two cedars which stood at the side of the house. 
" They say they are older than the house, but I don't 
feel sure of it. There was a mansion here before, very 
nearly, though not quite, on the same spot." 

" Your own ancestors were living here before that, I 
suppose ? " said Grantly, meaning to be civil. 



392 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" Well, yes ; two or three hundred years before it, I 
suppose. If you don't mind coming down to the 
churchyard, you '11 get an excellent view of the house ; 
— ^by far the best that there is. By-the-bye, would 
you like to step in and take a glass of wine ? " 

"I 'm very much obliged," said the major, "but 
indeed I 'd rather not." Then he followed the squire 
down to the churchyard, and was shown the church as 
well as the view of the house, and the vicarage, and a 
view over to Allington woods from the vicarage gate, 
of which the squire was very fond, and in this way he 
was taken back on to the Guestwick side of the village, 
and even down on to the road by which he had en- 
tered it, without in the least knowing where he was. 
He looked at his watch and saw that it was past two. 
" I 'm very much obliged to you, sir," he said, again 
taking off his hat to the squire, " and if I shall not be 
intruding I '11 make my way back to the village." 

" What village ? " said the squire. 

" To Allington," said Grantly. 

"This is Allington," said the squire; and as he 
spoke, Lily Dale and Grace Crawley turned a comer 
from the Guestwick road and came close upon them. 
" Well, girls, I did not expect to see you," said the 
squire ; " your mamma told me you would n't be back 
till it was nearly dark, Lily." 

"We have come back earlier than we intended," 
said Lily. She of course had seen the stranger with her 
uncle, and knowing the ways of the squire in such 
matters had expected to be introduced to him. But 
the reader will be aware that no introduction was pos- 
sible. It never occurred to Lily that this man could 
be the Major Grantly of whom she and Grace had 



ti 



HOW MAJOR GRANTLY TOOK A WALK. 393 

been talking during the whole length of the walk 
home. But Grace and her lover had of course known 
each other at once, and Grantly, though he was 
abashed and almost dismayed by the meeting, of 
course came forward and gave his hand to his friend. 
Grace in taking it did not utter a word. 

" Perhaps I ought to have introduced myself to you 
as Major Grantly," said he, tinning to the squire. 

"Major Grantly! Dear me 1 I had no idea that 
you were expected in these parts." 

I have come without being expected." 
You are very welcome, I *m sure. I hope your 
father is well ? I used to know him some years ago, 
and I dare say he has not forgotten me." Then, while 
the girls stood by in silence, and while Grantly was 
endeavouring to escape, the squire invited him very 
warmly to send his portmanteau up to the house. 
" We '11 have the ladies up from the house below, and 
make it as little dull for you as possible." But this 
would not have suited Grantly, — ^at any rate would not 
suit him till he should know what answer he was to 
have. He excused himself therefore, pleading a posi- 
tive necessity to be at Guestwick that evening, and 
then, explaining that he had already seen Mrs. Dale, 
he expressed his intention of going back to the Small 
House in company with the ladies, if they would allow 
him. The squire, who did not as yet quite understand 
it all, bade him a formal adieu, and Lily led the way 
home down behind the churchyard wall and through 
the bottom of the gardens belonging to the Great 
House. She of course knew now who the stranger 
was, and did all in her power to relieve Grace of her 
embarrassment. Grace had hitherto not spoken a 



394 '^^^ ^^S*^ CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

single word since she had seen her lover, nor did she 
say a word to him in their walk to the house. And, 
in truth, he was not much more communicative than 
Grace. Lily did all the talking, and with wonderful 
female skill contrived to have some words ready for 
use till they all foimd themselves together in Mrs. 
Dale's drawing-room. "I have caught a major, 
manmfia, and landed him," said Lily, laughing ; " but 
I 'm afraid, from what I hear, that you had caught 
him first." 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

MISS LILY dale's LOGIC. 

Lady Julia De Guest always lunched at one ex- 
actly, and it was not much past twelve when John 
Eames made his appearance at the cottage. He was 
of course told to stay, and of course said that he would 
stay. It had been his purpose to lunch with Lady 
Julia ; but then he had not expected to find Lily Dale 
at the cottage. Lily herself would have been quite at 
her ease, protected by Lady Julia, and somewhat pro- 
tected also by her own powers of fence, had it not 
been that Grace was there also. But Grace Crawley, 
from the moment that she had heard the description of 
the gentleman who looked out of the window with his 
glass in his eye, had by no means been at her ease. 
Lily saw at once that she could not be brought to join 
in any conversation, and both John and Lady Julia, in 
their ignorance of the matter in hand, made matters 
worse. 

" So that was Major Grantly ? " said John. " I have 
heard of him before, I think. He is the son of the old 
archdeacon, is he not ? " 

" I don't know about old archdeacon," said Lady 
Julia. " The archdeacon is the son of the old bishop 
whom I remember very well. And it is not so very 
long since the bishop died either." 

395 



396 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

"I wonder what he 's doing at Allington?" said 
Johnny. 

" I think he knows my uncle," said Lily. 

" But he 's going to call on your mother," he said. 
Then Johnny remembered that the major had said 
something as to knowing Miss Crawley, and for the 
moment he was silent. 

" I remember when they talked of making the son a 
bishop also," said Lady Julia. 

"What; — this same man who is now a major?" 
said Johnny. 

"No, you goose. He is not the son; he is the 
grandson. They were going to make the archdeacon 
a bishop, and I remember hearing that he was terribly 
disappointed. He is getting to be an old man now, I 
suppose ; and yet, dear me, how well I remember his 
father." 

He did n*t look like a bishop's son," said Johnny. 
How does a bishop's son look ? " Lily asked. 
I suppose he ought to have some sort of clerical tinge 
about him ; but this fellow had nothing of that kind." 

" But then this fellow, as you call him," said Lily, 
" is only the son of an archdeacon." 

" That accounts for it, I suppose," said Johnny. 

But during all this time Grace did not say a word, 
and Lily perceived it. Then she bethought herself as 
to what she had better do. Grace, she knew, could 
not be comfortable where she was. Nor, indeed, was 
it probable that Grace would be very comfortable in 
returning home. There could not be much ease for 
Grace till the coming meeting between her and Major 
Grantly should be over. But it would be better that 
Grace should go back to Allington at once ; and better 



(t 



MISS LILY dale's LOGIC. 397 

also, perhaps, for Major Grantly that it should be so. 
" Lady Julia," she said, " I don't think we '11 mind 
stopping for lunch to-day." 

" Nonsense, my dear ; you promised." 

" I think we must break our promise ; I do indeed. 
You must n't be angry with us." And Lily looked at 
Lady Julia, as though there was something which Lady 
Julia ought to understand, which she, Lily, could not 
quite explain. I fear that Lily was false, and intended 
her old friend to believe that she was running away 
because John Eames had come there. 

" But you will be famished," said Lady Julia. 

" We shall live through it," said Lily. 

" It is out of the question that I should let you walk 
all the way here from AUington and all the way back 
without taking something." 

" We shall just be home in time for lunch if we go 
now," said Lfly. " Will not that be best, Grace ? " 

Grace h2u*dly knew what would be best. She only 
knew that Major Grandy was at AUington, and that 
he had come thither to see her. The idea of hurrying 
back after him was unpleasant to her, and yet she was 
so flurried that she felt thankful to Lily for taking her 
away from the cottage. The matter was compromised 
at last. They remained for half an hour, and ate some 
biscuits, and pretended to drink a glass of wine, and 
then they started. John Eames, who in truth believed 
that Lily Dale was running away from him, was by no 
means well pleased, and when the girls were gone, did 
not make himself so agreeable to his old friend as he 
should have done. " What a fool I am to come here 
at all," he said, throwing himself into an arm-chair as 
soon as the front door was closed. 



39^ THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

" That 's very civil to me, John! " 

" You know what I mean, Lady Julia. I am a fool 
to come near her, until I can do so without thinking 
more of her than I do of any other girl in the county." 

" I don't think you have anything to complain of as 
yet," said Lady Julia, who had in some sort perceived 
that Lily's retreat had been on Grace's account, and 
not on her own. " It seems to me that Lily was very 
glad to see you, and when I told her that you were 
coming to stay here, and would be near them for 
some days, she seemed to be quite pleased, — she did 
indeed." 

" Then why did she run away the moment I came 
in? " said Johnny. 

" I think it was something you said about that man 
who has gone to AUington." 

" What difference can the man make to her ? The 
truth is, I despise myself, — I do indeed. Lady JuKa. 
Only think of my meeting Crosbie at dinner the other 
day, and his having the impertinence to come up and 
shake hands with me." 

"I suppose he did n't say anything about what 
happened at the Paddington Station ? " 

" No ; he did n't speak about that. I wish I knew 
whether she cares for him still. If I thought she did, 
I would never speak another word to her, — I mean 
about myself. Of course I am not going to quarrel 
with them. I am not such a fool as that." Then 
Lady Julia tried to comfort him, and succeeded so far 
that he was induced to eat the mince veal that had 
been intended for the comfort and support of the two 
young ladies who had run away. 

" Do you think it is he ? " were the first words which 



MISS LILY dale's LOGIC. 399 

Grace said when they were fairly on their way back 
together. 

" Of course it is he;— did you not hear what they 
said?" 

" His coming was so unlikely. I cannot understand 
that he should come. He let me leave Silverbridge 
without seeing me, — and I thought that he was quite 
right." 

"And I think he is quite right to come here. I 
am very glad he has come. It shows that he has 
really something like a heart inside him. Had he not 
come, or sent, or written, or taken some step before 
the trial comes on to make you know that he was 
thinking of you, I should have said that he was as 
hard, — as hard as any other man that I ever heard of. 
Men are so hard! But I don't think he is, now. I 
am beginning to regard him as the one chevalier sans 
peur et sans reproche, and to fancy that you ought to 
go down on your knees before him, and kiss his high- 
ness's shoebuckle. In judging of men one's mind 
vacillates so quickly between the scorn which is due 
to a false man and the worship which is due to a true 
man." Then she was silent for a moment, but Grace 
said nothing, and Lily continued, " I tell you fairly, 
Grace, that I shall expect very much from you now." 

" Much in what way, Lily ? " 

"In the way of worship. I shall not be content 
that you should merely love him. If he has come 
here, as he must have done, to say that the moment 
of the world's reproach is the moment he has chosen 
to ask you to be his wife, I think that you will owe 
him more than love." 

" I shall owe him more than love, and I will pay 



400 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF 6ARSET. 

him more than love/' said Grace. There was some^ 
thing in the tone of her voice as she spoke which made 
Lily stop her and look up into her face. There was 
a smile there which Lily had never seen before, and 
which gave a beauty to her which was wonderful to 
Lily's eyes. Surely this lover of Grace's must have 
seen her smile like that, and therefore had loved her 
and was giving such wonderful proof of his love. 
" Yes," continued Grace, standing and looking at her 
friend, " you may stare at me, Lily, but you may be 
sure that I will do for Major Grantly all the good that 
I can do for him." 

" What do you mean, Grace ? " 

" Never mind what I mean. You are very imperi- 
ous in managing your own affairs, and you must let me 
be equally so in mine." 

" But I tell you everything." 

" Do you suppose that if — ^if — if in real truth it can 
possibly be the case that Major Grantly shall have 
come here to offer me his hand when we are all ground 
down into the dust as we are, do you think that I will 
let him sacrifice himself ? Would you ? " 

" Certainly. Why not ? There will be no sacrifice. 
He will be asking for that which he wishes to get ; 
and you will be bound to give it to him." 
, "If he wants it, where is his nobility ? If it be as 
you say, he will have shown himself noble, and his no- 
bility will have consisted in this, that he has been will- 
ing to take that which he does not want, in order that 
he may succour one whom he loves. I also will suc- 
cour one whom I love as best I know how." Then 
she walked on quickly before her friend, and Lily stood 
for a moment thinking before she followed her. They 



t4 
it 



tl 
U 



MISS LILY dale's LOGIC. 4OE 

were now on a field-path, by which they were enabled 
to escape the road back to Allington for the greater 
part of the distance, and Grace had reached a stile, 
and had clambered over it before Lily had caught her. 

You must not go away by yourself," said Lily. 

I don't wish to go away by myself." 

I want you to stop a moment and listen to me. I 
am sure you are wrong in this, — wrong for both your 
sakes. You believe that he loves you ?" 

" I thought he did once ; and if he has come here to 
see me, I suppose he does stilL" 

If that be the case, and if you also love him ** 

I do. I make no mystery about that to you. I do 
love him with all my heart. I love him to-day, now 
that I believe him to be here, and that I suppose I 
shall see him, perhaps this very afternoon. And I 
loved him yesterday, when I thought that I should 
never see him again. I do love him. I do. I love 
him so well that I will never do him an injury." 

" That being so, if he makes you an offer you are 
bound to accept it. I do not think that you have an 
alternative." 

" I have an alternative, and I shall use it. Why 
don't you take my cousin John ? " 

" Because I like somebody else better. If you have 
got as good a reason I won't say another word to you." 

And why don't you take that other person ? " 

Because I cannot trust his love ; that is why. It 
is not very kind of you, opening my sores afresh, when 
I am trying to heal yours." 

" Oh, Lily, am I unkind, — ^unkind to you, who have 
been so generous to me ? " 

" I '11 forgive you all that and a deal more if you 

VOL. I. -- 26 



t( 



it 
« 



402 THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET. 

will only listen to me and try to take my advice. Be- 
cause this major of yours does a generous thing which 
is for the good of you both, — ^the infinite good of both 
of yoUy — ^you are to emulate his generosity by doing 
a thing which will be for the good of neither of you. 
That is about it. Yes, it is, Grace. You cannot doubt 
that he has been meaning this for some time past ; and, 
of course, if he looks upon you as his own, — and I 
dare say, if the whole truth is to be told, he does " 

" But I am not his own." 

" Yes, you are, in one sense ; you have just said so 
with a great deal of energy. And if it be so,*-^let me 
see, where was I ? " 

Oh, Lily, you need not mind where you were." 
But I do mind, and I hate to be interrupted in my 
arguments. Yes, just that. If he saw his cow sick, 
he 'd try to doctor the cow in her sickness. He sees 
that you are sick, and of course he comes to your 
relief." 

" I am not Major Grantly's cow." 

" Yes, you are." 

" Nor his dog, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything 
that is his, except — except, Lily, the dearest friend that 
he has on the face of the earth. He cannot have a 
friend that will go further for him than I will. He will 
never know how far I will go to serve him. You don't 
know his people, nor do I know them. But I know 
what they are. His sister is married to a marquis." 

" What has that to do with it ? " said Lily sharply. 
" If she were married to an archduke, what difference 
would that make ? " 

" They are proud people, — ^all of them, — and rich ; 
and they live with high persons in the World." 



MISS LILY dale's LOGIC. ' 403 



i€ 



I did n't care though they lived with the royal fam- 
ily, and had the Prince of Wales for their bosom friend. 
It only shows how much better he is than they are." 

" But think what my family is, — ^how we are situ- 
ated! When my father was simply poor I did not care 
about it, because he has been bom and bred a gentle- 
man. But now he is disgraced. Yes, Lily, he is. I 
am bound to say so, at any rate to myself, when I am 
thinking of Major Grantly ; and I will not carry that 
disgrace into a family which would feel it so keenly as 
they would do." Lily, however, went on with her 
arguments, and was still arguing, when they turned 
the comer of the lane, and came upon Lily's uncle and 
the major himself. 



END OF VOL. I. 



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